Are Walk-In Tubs Covered by Medicaid?

While the Federal Medicare program doesn’t cover walk-in tubs, if you’re eligible for Medicare, (State and Federal) Medicaid might help. In Michigan, there are some Medicaid programs worth exploring. You’re looking for programs that provide durable medical equipment, transition assistance from a nursing home to a residence, home modifications, or assistive technologies.

Michigan choice elderly and disabled waiver
This program mentions explicitly “durable medical equipment” and “transition from a nursing home back into the community,” but there is a waiting list to receive services via this waiver. New applicants can expect approximately a six to a twelve-month waiting list to begin services. The program is limited to 14,000 participants.

Michigan Medicaid Health Link Program & Waiver: Helping the Elderly Remain at Home
Not strictly for the elderly, this program is limited to 25 counties of availability. In our service area, participating counties include Chippewa, Barry, Luce, and Mackinac counties. The program includes “Community Transition Services, Durable Medical Equipment / Assistive Technology, and Home modifications.” The first step is to enroll in both Medicaid and Medicare (for eligibility reasons).

Are Walk-In Tubs Covered for Veterans?

Unfortunately for veterans, TRICARE and CHAMPVA don’t consider walk in-tubs durable medical equipment. That’s not to say vets don’t have options. Veteran home modification grants for elderly and disabled veterans are available.

Another option includes the Veterans Directed Home and Community Based Services (VD-HCBS). (At the Ann Arbor, Battle Creek, Detroit, Iron Mountain, and Saginaw locations). Under this program, a veteran may “choose to allocate a portion of the allowance toward the purchase and installation of a walk-in bathtub or shower.”

You can use VA pensions (Aid and Attendance, Housebound and other Pensions) benefits for walk-in tub purchases and installations. A walk-in tub can be considered an unreimbursed medical expense for VA income calculating purposes. This means the cost of the walk-in tub, is deducted from one’s income, and the veteran will receive an increased pension benefit in the amount of the deduction which will cover the cost of the tub.

Is Other Financial Assistance Available?

There are USDA Rural Repair & Rehabilitation Grants available for the elderly, low-income residents in rural areas that are quite possibly able to help. 18 to 61-year-olds may receive a loan, 62+ may receive a grant. Besides the expected qualification, please also note there are also some lifetime grant maximums and limitations that need consideration.

Non-profit programs exist locally, regionally, and federally that may be able to help. Rebuilding Together, is a coalition including notably Safe at Home, Heroes at Home, and the National Rebuilding Day. Click to find your local affiliate for the coalition.

Are Walk-In Tubs Tax Deductible?

Your safety purchase of a walk-in tub, low or no-threshold safety shower may be tax deductible. If the purchase is for yourself, materials and installation costs are tax deductible if purchased for medical safety reasons as a medical and dental expense.

If you’re purchasing for your elderly parent to modify your home, be sure to look into the Federal Dependent Care Tax Credit, utilizing a form 2441. Tax credits and financing combined can take the financial bite out of moving mom or dad into your home.

What About Reverse Mortgages and Home Equity?

If you’re over 62 and own your home, you may qualify for a reverse mortgage. This federally insured program doesn’t relinquish control of your home (contrary to popular misconception). Both reverse mortgages and home equity loans (or lines of credit) allow you to tap into your home’s equity to make these safety improvements even if there’s not a current medical necessity. A big win for aging in place.

What About Financing?

Rainbow Bath has fantastic special financing options available (and we don’t mark up the price to make them available to you.) There are never any closing costs and no lien on your home. Financing is excellent if you are waiting on money from a settlement, estate, or loan.

What Other Alternatives are Available?

Walk-in tubs provide a great bathing option for seniors and the disabled. They’re not the only safety and accessibility option though.

Low threshold showers don’t have a wall to navigate like a tub or even much of a step up like traditional showers. Those with greater mobility can often lift a walker right into the shower.

No threshold options are near or at the grade of the floor and provide no lip to prevent walkers and chairs from easy entry.

How Do I Know What I Need?

Rainbow Bath is here to help. We hold a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) certification through in National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). This means we’re just a click or a call away to help assess your needs, and your options for a walk in tub or other safety showers. We want to help you make the right choices for staying in your home safely and securely.

We have a huge selection of safety accessories for whichever option you choose. Safe transitions can make all the difference preventing falls for you or your loved ones. Many of the links provided are from Paying For Senior Care. It’s a great resource to learn more about these programs.