If you or someone you are caring for is having trouble getting in and out of bed due to loss of strength, mobility issues, dementia, or other health conditions, having sturdy bed rails to hold onto can provide stability and safety.
On the market today, there are two types of bed rails; those that are attached to hospital beds and portable ones that can be used with most types of beds. If you choose portable rails, you’ll find a variety of styles that are sold separately from the bed, but before choosing, make sure that they work on your bed.
The most common types of portable bed rails include the following:
- L-shaped with two legs
- L-shaped legless
- Dual side
- Crossbar with handholds
Having peace of mind knowing that you or your loved one can get in and out of bed safely is worth the expense of getting bed rails, but you might have coverage through Medicare insurance. Here’s a look at how Medicare can help you.
Does Medicare cover bed rails?
If you want to modify your standard bed by purchasing bed rails, Medicare won’t cover the cost. On the other hand, Medicare Part B (medical insurance) typically covers the rental or purchase of a hospital bed that has bedrails attached if your doctor deems it medically necessary.
Original Medicare Part B (medical insurance) covers the following types of home-use hospital beds:
- Manual beds
To qualify for Medicare coverage to rent or purchase a hospital bed you must be enrolled in Part B and meet the following requirements:
- Because of a health condition, you need specialized equipment or a mechanism to help you position yourself in bed. Your physician may need to certify that it’s medically necessary to help treat your condition.
- You must have a physician’s prescription for an adjustable bed, and it must describe your medical condition and why you need this equipment in detail.
- Your physician must provide your medical records supporting your need for the adjustable bed.
- You must also have an in-person visit with your physician within six months of him prescribing the hospital bed.
According to Medicare, certain health conditions that would qualify you for this benefit are:
- A health condition that requires you to reposition yourself, or to be repositioned by a caregiver, frequently to relieve pain or other issues.
- Certain cardiac diseases
- Spinal cord injury
- Severe arthritis
- Other types of injuries
If you’re eligible for this benefit, Medicare Part B pays 80 percent of the final approved cost to rent or purchase the hospital bed if the prescribing physician and the medical supplier both accept Medicare assignment. You pay the remaining 20 percent after meeting your annual Part B deductible.
Medicare beneficiaries with a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan are entitled to all the benefits allowed through Original Medicare Parts A and B. However, certain Medicare Advantage plans require that enrollees use preferred providers for medical services and supplies. Depending on the type of MA plan you have, you may need to use these network providers to get your coverage. If you aren’t sure which ones you can use, ask your provider for details before purchasing or renting a hospital bed.
How much do bed rails cost without Medicare coverage?
There are many types of bed rails available online that range from low to high quality with prices to match. For a sturdy, no-nonsense model that slips under the mattress and has adjustable legs, you pay on average $40. If you’re looking for bedside rails that fold up and down, you can find a model for just under $100, but you’ll need to install it with a couple of bolts.