It’s no secret that as we age, our bodies go through some changes. We might not be able to do the things we used to do as easily. One common issue that many older adults face is incontinence or the loss of control over urination or bowel movements.
In some cases, however, incontinence can be more severe. This is often the case for people who have mobility issues or who are bedridden. For these individuals, using the bathroom can be a real challenge.
This is where bedside commodes come in. A bedside commode is a portable toilet that can be placed next to a bed or chair. This can be a real lifesaver for people who have trouble getting to the bathroom on their own. However, you may wonder if you can get proper coverage if you need one. Luckily, you may not have to pay for one out-of-pocket.
Will Medicare Pay for a Bedside Commode?
As long as the person has a medical reason for needing a bedside commode, Part B will cover it.
There are different types of commode chairs, such as:
- Bedside chair
- Shower chair
- Over-the toilet chair
- Transfer chair
Medicare can provide coverage for a 3-in-1 Commode chair that combines the benefits of a basic chair with an over-the-toilet chair. You can use this type of chair for bedside use as long as the receptacle and seat are in place.
Your Medicare B plan will pay 80% of the Medicare-approved amount for the commode chair. You will be responsible for the remaining 20%.
You may also have to pay a deductible before your coverage starts. Once you reach your deductible, Part B will cover the remaining costs.
If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you will need to check with your plan to see if it covers bedside commodes. Some plans may cover the cost of a bedside commode, while others may not.
How Often Will Medicare Pay for a Bedside Commode?
Medicare will always pay for a bedside commode as long as you have a medical need for it. Under normal conditions, Medicare will replace a bedside commode once every five years.
However, if your commode is lost, damaged, or stolen, you can get a replacement sooner. Your commode is considered damaged beyond repair when it can no longer be used for its intended purpose.
To get a replacement sooner than every five years, you will need to get a letter from your doctor stating that you need a new commode.
How To Get a Bedside Commode from Medicare
You will have to meet the following requirements:
- Your doctor must be a Medicare-approved doctor
- You or your doctor must order the commode from a Medicare-contracted supplier
Once you have a prescription, you can purchase a bedside commode from any medical equipment supplier that accepts Medicare. Find such suppliers in your area by visiting the Medicare Supplier Directory.
Other Ways to Get a Free Bedside Commode
If you need a bedside commode but don’t have Medicare, there are other ways to get coverage.
If you’re a veteran, you may be able to get a bedside commode through the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system. The VA provides health care services to eligible veterans. Go to your local VA hospital or clinic to see if you qualify for coverage.
Department of Health and Human Services
Many programs assist people with disabilities. These programs may be able to help you get a bedside commode. Contact your state’s Department of Health and Human Services to see if you qualify for any assistance programs.
Eldercare Local Support Services
Find local help through the Eldercare Locator by putting in your zipcode. There are nonprofit organizations that may lend or give away medical devices. When people no longer need certain devices, they donate them to these organizations.
As a result, you may be able to get a bedside commode for free or at a reduced cost. In addition to bedside commodes, you may be able to get canes, walkers, wheelchairs, and more from these programs. The Eldercare locator has many support services available for the elderly and their caretakers.
Some church organizations also have programs where they make donations to help church members and needy people in the area. Start by contacting your local church to see if they can help you purchase a bedside commode or provide a donated one.
Nationwide church organizations such as the Salvation Army and Catholic Charities may also have such programs.
You Have Many Resources for a Bedside Commode
In conclusion, Medicare will pay for a bedside commode as long as you have a medical need for it. You will need to get a prescription from your doctor and purchase the commode from a Medicare-contracted supplier. There are also other ways to get a bedside commode if you don’t have Medicare. These include Medicaid, the Veterans Affairs health care system, and various charitable organizations.
Loss of mobility can be difficult to cope with, but a bedside commode can help make things easier. With a little research, you can find the coverage or assistance you need.