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Adjustable Beds Covered by Medicare: Eligibility and Coverage

Adjustable Beds Covered by Medicare: Eligibility and Coverage

Medicare recognizes the health benefits of adjustable beds for individuals with certain medical conditions. As a component of durable medical equipment (DME), adjustable beds may be included in Medicare Part B coverage when prescribed by a doctor for in-home use to improve a beneficiary's health condition. To qualify for coverage, the bed must be deemed medically necessary and meet specific criteria set forth by Medicare.


The coverage for adjustable beds under Medicare Part B generally includes the bed frame and the accompanying mattress. However, coverage may not extend to all types of adjustable beds, and there may be costs that the beneficiary is responsible for, such as deductibles and co-insurance. The process typically involves obtaining a prescription from a physician, confirming that the supplier is enrolled in Medicare, and understanding the extent of Medicare's contribution to the purchase or rental of the bed.

While Medicare’s contribution can help ease the financial burden associated with purchasing an adjustable bed, it's essential for beneficiaries to be aware of the guidelines Medicare has put in place for coverage. These guidelines include the specific medical conditions that justify the use of an adjustable bed, the types of beds that are covered, and the expected cost-sharing responsibilities. Navigating these requirements can lead to significant health benefits for those who require the comfort and support of an adjustable bed to aid in their recovery or manage chronic conditions.


Medicare Basics

Medicare is a federal health insurance program in the United States that provides coverage to individuals who are 65 years of age or older, certain younger people with disabilities, and people with End-Stage Renal Disease. Understanding the parts of Medicare is crucial for those seeking coverage for specific medical equipment like adjustable beds.

Understanding Medicare

Medicare is divided into four parts, each designed to cover specific services:

  • Medicare Part A: Hospital insurance
  • Medicare Part B: Medical insurance
  • Medicare Part C: Medicare Advantage Plans
  • Medicare Part D: Prescription drug coverage

Medicare Part B Coverage

Medicare Part B is a medical insurance that helps pay for outpatient care, doctor's services, preventive services, and medical equipment. It typically covers 80% of the approved amount for various durable medical equipment (DME) after the deductible has been met. The individual is responsible for the remaining 20%.

When it comes to adjustable beds, if considered medically necessary and prescribed by a doctor, they may qualify as DME under Medicare Part B. The supplier must be Medicare-approved, and the bed itself must meet certain requirements:

  • It must be for home use.
  • It must be designed for the medical needs of the individual.

Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage)

Medicare Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, includes all the benefits and services covered under Part A and Part B. It's offered by Medicare-approved private companies that may also include additional benefits, such as vision, hearing, and dental coverage.

Medicare Advantage plans must cover adjustable beds if they are covered under Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). However, coverage and costs may vary based on the specific plan chosen by the individual. It is essential for beneficiaries to review their plan's details to understand the extent of coverage for adjustable beds.


Eligibility for Adjustable Bed Coverage

Medicare may cover the cost of an adjustable bed under certain conditions, provided that the individual meets the program's specific eligibility criteria.

Qualifying Conditions

An individual must have a medical condition that necessitates the use of an adjustable bed. These conditions often include severe arthritis, paraplegia, or a recent surgery that requires specific sleeping or resting positions to recover properly. Medicare considers an adjustable bed a potential necessity for seniors or individuals with specific medical needs, to improve their quality of life and health outcomes.

Doctor's Prescription

To be eligible for coverage, the individual must obtain a prescription from a licensed physician. The doctor must document the medical necessity of an adjustable bed in the patient's medical records and submit a written order for it. This prescription should detail how the adjustable bed will aid in the treatment of the patient's condition and why a standard bed is insufficient.

Medicare-Approved Suppliers

For Medicare to cover an adjustable bed, it must be purchased or rented from a supplier that is enrolled in the Medicare program. The supplier must meet strict standards and be specifically authorized by Medicare to provide durable medical equipment (DME). It's important for individuals to verify that the supplier is Medicare-approved to ensure coverage eligibility.

  • Approved Suppliers: Medicare's official website or 1-800-MEDICARE can provide a list of these approved suppliers.

Adjustable Beds and Medicare

Medicare provides coverage for certain types of adjustable beds when deemed medically necessary by a healthcare provider. This section explores how these beds are covered, what conditions apply, and the financial aspects of obtaining an adjustable bed through Medicare.

Coverage Details

Medicare Part B typically includes the coverage for durable medical equipment (DME), which encompasses adjustable beds resembling hospital beds. For Medicare to cover the cost of an adjustable bed, a doctor must prescribe it as necessary due to a patient's medical condition. Additionally, the supplier of the bed should be enrolled in Medicare and adhere to the program's guidelines.

Costs and Reimbursement

Upon meeting the necessary conditions, Medicare will pay for 80% of the Medicare-approved amount for the bed, and the beneficiary is responsible for the remaining 20%. The actual costs can vary, with basic models starting from approximately $500 to $1,000 before insurance contributions. It's important to understand that if the supplier is not Medicare-approved, the costs could be higher, and Medicare may not reimburse for the item.

Types of Adjustable Beds

Adjustable beds, especially when designed for seniors, come in various configurations and offer a range of features to suit individual needs, including those covered by Medicare.

Features of Adjustable Beds

Adjustable beds for seniors often include features aimed at increasing comfort and safety. Common features include the ability to raise and lower the head and foot sections to various degrees, which can help alleviate medical issues such as snoring, sleep apnea, and poor circulation. Some models, like the UPbed Independence Sleep To Stand Adjustable Bed by Journey Health, offer enhanced safety lighting and remote control operation for added convenience and independence.

Other notable features can include:

  • Side rails: Provides additional safety and support when getting in and out of bed.
  • Lifting from sleep-to-stand capability: Lifts you up from a sleeping position all the way to a standing position.
  • Infinite positions: Allows users to dial in their preferred positions that are perfect for their body.

Selecting the Right Bed

When choosing the right adjustable bed, it is essential to consider the user's specific needs and whether the bed will aid in their medical condition, a critical factor in determining Medicare coverage. Durability and the quality of materials are paramount, as the bed should provide stable and long-term support.

For seniors, features like the memory foam mattress of the UPbed Standard Sleep To Stand Adjustable Bed by Journey Health add comfort and can assist in the transition from a lying to a standing position. This type of versatility is particularly advantageous for those with mobility challenges.

Furthermore, the bed should blend seamlessly with the existing home environment and not require extensive modifications, ensuring silent operation and ease of use are also top considerations. Selecting a bed with a minimalist design can contribute to the overall aesthetic of the space while maintaining its primary functionality.

Application Process for Coverage

When applying for Medicare coverage for an adjustable bed, the beneficiary must adhere to a specific set of guidelines. The process involves gathering necessary documentation and filing a claim with Medicare to ensure coverage criteria are met.

Documentation Required

  • Physician's Prescription: A written order from the beneficiary's treating physician is essential. This prescription must detail the medical necessity of the adjustable bed due to the beneficiary's condition.
  • Medical Records: These should substantiate the diagnosis and the need for an adjustable bed, exhibiting how the bed will aid in the treatment or management of the patient's condition.
  • Medicare Forms: Completed Medicare forms are required to process the claim. These include the CMS-849 form, which pertains to the coverage of durable medical equipment.

Filing a Claim with Medicare

  1. Contact a Medicare-approved Supplier: The beneficiary must purchase or rent the adjustable bed from a supplier enrolled in the Medicare program who accepts assignment.
  2. Submit the Required Documentation: The beneficiary or supplier should submit the physician's prescription, compiled medical records, and completed Medicare forms to Medicare.
  3. Follow Up: After filing the claim, the beneficiary should monitor its progress and provide any additional information if requested by Medicare to facilitate the review process.

It's crucial that the beneficiary keeps copies of all the documents submitted for their records and follows up with Medicare to check the status of their claim for an adjustable bed.

Additional Financial Assistance

When Medicare's coverage is not enough, individuals may explore other avenues for financial assistance to manage the costs associated with adjustable beds.

Medicaid and Adjustable Beds

Medicaid programs may cover the cost of an adjustable bed as durable medical equipment (DME) for eligible individuals. Coverage varies by state, and applicants should check with their state's Medicaid office to understand the specific benefits and eligibility criteria.

  • Eligibility: Often based on income and medical need
  • Coverage: Can include partial or full funding for DME like adjustable beds

Other Assistance Programs

A variety of non-governmental assistance programs can help with the expenses of an adjustable bed. These may include nonprofit organizations, state-specific programs, or charities that focus on aiding those with specific medical conditions.

  • Nonprofits: Often cater to specific disabilities or conditions
  • Charitable Organizations: May offer grants or subsidies
  • State Programs: Additional programs unique to each state that might assist with DME costs

Maintenance and Care of Adjustable Beds

Proper maintenance is crucial to ensure the longevity and optimal functionality of adjustable beds, especially when they are a part of your medically necessary durable medical equipment (DME).

Upkeep of Durable Medical Equipment

Routine Inspection: Adjustable beds require regular examination to ensure all components function correctly. This includes checking the frame, motors, and remote controls for signs of wear or damage.

  • Frame: Check for any visible signs of stress or bending. Tighten any loose bolts and replace parts that show excessive wear.

  • Motors:

    • Cleaning: Remove dust and debris from the motor casing using a dry cloth.
    • Lubrication: Periodically lubricate moving parts to prevent squeaking and to prolong motor life.
  • Remote Control: Ensure that the remote control is functioning properly. Replace batteries annually, or as needed.

Cleaning: Regular cleaning is recommended to keep the bed hygienic.

  • Mattress: Use a vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment to remove dust and allergens.
  • Bed Frame: Wipe down the frame with a damp cloth and mild detergent, avoiding electrical components.

Professional Servicing: Have the bed serviced by a professional if complicated issues arise, such as problems with the electrical system or mechanical failures. This will help maintain the bed's warranty and ensure safe operation.

Replacement Parts: Only use manufacturer-approved replacement parts to avoid potential safety hazards and compatibility issues. This also ensures that the bed remains eligible for Medicare coverage, if applicable.



Medicare provides coverage for adjustable beds under certain conditions, recognizing them as durable medical equipment (DME). Eligibility hinges on the bed being deemed medically necessary and prescribed by a doctor.

Medicare's Coverage:

  • Participation: The supplier must be Medicare-approved.
  • Extent of Coverage: Typically, Medicare covers 80% post the Part B deductible.
  • Patient's Responsibility: The remaining 20% and any applicable deductibles.

Important aspects to consider:

  • Documentation: Ensure necessary medical documents and doctor's prescription are in place.
  • Supplier Selection: Opt for an approved Medicare supplier to facilitate coverage.

It's imperative for beneficiaries to:

  • Assess Costs: Understand out-of-pocket expenses, including deductibles and copayments.
  • Rental vs. Purchase: Determine if renting or purchasing the bed is more beneficial.

In summary, adherence to Medicare's guidelines can lead to substantial aid in offsetting the costs associated with adjustable beds, if the need for such a bed is justified according to medical necessity.

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