Adjustable beds are an extremely effective way to treat and manage a host of ailments and health problems at home, from sleep apnea and back pain to acid reflux. But, for all the good that they can do, adjustable beds aren’t cheap.
Because of those two facts - that adjustable beds are good for your health and tough on your wallet - you might be wondering if your Medicare will cover the price of your adjustable bed. Check out our guide to adjustable beds and Medicare to get the answers you’re looking for!
Does Medicare Cover Adjustable Beds?
The short answer? Medicare might cover your adjustable bed needs, and they might not.
It depends on what your health issues and needs truly are more than anything - if you don’t have a legitimate medical need, you won’t get your adjustable bed paid for.
Medicare considers some types of adjustable beds to be Durable Medical Equipment (DME). This means that they are products that:
Since adjustable beds generally fall under those requirements, you should be able to get your bed paid for through Medicare.
Steps to Get a Free Adjustable Bed Through Medicare
If you think that you might be eligible to get an adjustable bed paid for through medicare, you’ll need to follow these steps:
Schedule an Appointment With a Doctor That Participates in Medicare
Participates in Medicare? What, exactly, does that mean?
If you’re new or unfamiliar with the Medicare system, you might be unaware that doctors (or, rather, doctor’s offices) need to participate in the medicare system, just like you do. If a doctor isn’t participating in Medicare, they won’t be able to help you get your adjustable bed paid for.
Thankfully, the overwhelming majority of doctors who treat older people are participants in Medicare, so you shouldn’t have to worry about whether or not your doctor will be able to help you. In fact, if you weren’t aware of the “participation” requirement, it’s probably because you never needed to be!
The point here is this: you cannot get an adjustable bed, or anything else for that matter, paid for by Medicare without going through your doctor. The first step in getting an adjustable bed through medicare is making an appointment!
Explain Your Situation
Your doctor will need to evaluate you and make a decision as to whether or not you actually need an adjustable bed for medical purposes. Your doctor may agree with you on the point that an adjustable bed would be good for you, but they may not agree that an adjustable bed is medically necessary.
Generally, Medicare defines medical necessity in this way:
Get a Written Prescription for an Adjustable Bed
If your doctor does decide that an adjustable bed is a medically necessary item for you and your health conditions, they’ll write you a prescription. You can then give that prescription to Medicare as part of the paperwork for your adjustable bed.
Purchase or Rent Your Adjustable Bed from an Approved Supplier
Depending on your health issues, you may or may not need your adjustable bed in the long term. If your health problems are temporary, Medicare may require that your bed be rented.
Additionally, the bed needs to come from an approved supplier - another way of saying the company accepts payments from the Medicare system.
Once you choose your adjustable bed, Medicare will pay 80% of the cost, and you will cover the rest either out of pocket or through supplemental insurance.
One Thing to Know About Medicare and Adjustable Beds
This is the real kicker: Medicare won’t pay for most types of adjustable beds you see in furniture stores or online, because they might not fit the description of Durable Medical Equipment. Most adjustable beds that you can get through medicare will be hospital beds with an adjustable element.
So, before you get your hopes up about getting a Reverie or Tempur-Pedic bed through Medicare, you should understand that that is pretty unlikely. Instead, you will probably end up with a solid, dependable hospital bed that can raise or lower at the touch of the button. At the end of the day, as long as your hospital bed mattress is comfortable, you probably won’t notice the difference!
Other Ways to Get a Free Adjustable Bed
Options for Veterans
If you’re a veteran, you may have additional options for getting an adjustable bed, either for free or at a drastically reduced price. Working with the VA to get your bed is one option, but as you already know, it’s slow and frustrating.
There are, however, several charities that work to help veterans get the medical equipment they need. Here’s a brief list:
Options for Seniors with Financial Need
Medicaid, the sister program to Medicare, is designed to help seniors, people with disabilities, and those in severe financial need with their medical expenses. Check out your state’s Medicare guidelines to see if you can get your bed paid for through Medicaid.
Also, there are a number of medical equipment charities around the country that let you apply for assistance. If you can demonstrate your financial need, you can often find the bed you need (even if it isn’t the bed you want).
Getting an adjustable bed through Medicare is easier said than done. You need to demonstrate a true medical need, and, even then, you may not get the bed you wanted. If you’re diligent, honest, and willing to jump through the Medicare hoops, though, you can get the medical equipment you need at a very low price - and that makes it worth it!