Medicare Reimbursement for Walk-in Bathtubs

Learn about the possibility of Medicare reimbursement for your walk-in tub and the application process.

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How to Apply for Medicare Reimbursement For Your New Walk-in Tub

Walk-in tubs occupy a gray area when it comes to the question of whether or not Medicare will reimburse a portion of their cost.

On the one hand, walk in tubs on the official list of Durable Medical Equipment (DME) on which Medicare normally approves claims. Therefore, as a general practice, Medicare does not reimburse any part of a walk in or Hybrid tub purchase.

On the other hand, when claims are made, occasionally Medicare does reimburse a part of the tub’s purchase price. This might be because they see these safe access tubs as so beneficial to the lives of the people they serve…at least in some situations. If Medicare does approve your claim, you can then file a claim with your Medicare Supplement Insurance for additional reimbursement.

Various groups are working to resolve this gray area situation by trying to get these tubs officially listed by Medicare as Durable Medical Equipment. Many people feel that these tubs belong on the DME list alongside other already-approved mobility assisting, home safety,
quality-of-life enhancing DME items such as:

  • Canes
  • Commode Chairs
  • Crutches
  • Hospital Beds
  • Patient Lifts
  • Scooters
  • Walkers
  • Wheelchairs

Many safe access tub users also have DMEs like wheelchairs, scooters or walkers. In fact, all American Tubs® models are designed for easy accommodation of Patient Lifts.
It is also worth noting that American Tubs® are approved for use in VA and Department of Defense Hospitals worldwide. The RH4, RH6 and RB14 models available for your home are very similar to the models used in hospitals and other care facilities.

All American Tubs® are specifically designed to be the “Safest Access Residential Tubs”…especially important to those with mobility issues or the debilitating fear of falling. There appear to be two reasons regular walk in tubs and Hybrid Tubs are not already officially recognized DMEs.

  1. They can be viewed as “Conveniences” rather than “Medical Necessities”
  2. They could be used by others, not only by the person with the special needs

Those tub buyers who have been successful getting Medicare reimbursement probably have overcome these two problems with a convincing claim presentation about their unique situation, mobility issues and “medical necessity”… that is, “needed for the treatment of their medical conditions”.

The only way to find out if you can get reimbursement for your tub purchase is to go through the Medicare claim process and see what happens.

Your Medicare claim can only be filed after you first satisfy several requirements and then buy the tub. Because much of the claim filing process is after you buy your tub, you must be sure you can afford the tub on your own and have no expectation of getting any Medicare reimbursement.

Any tub buyer can file a claim as long as they are enrolled in Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance). Because these tubs are not officially DMEs, the claim must be filed by you rather than by the supplier. The process is not difficult, but like most government programs, you must follow the correct procedure.

The following suggested process will help you create a strong presentation for your Medicare
Claim. It might increase your chances of partial Medicare reimbursement for your walk in tub. However, even with a good presentation, you would be well served to have an attitude of total joy with your new Hybrid Tub and no expectations of Medicare reimbursement. Then, if you do get your claim approved…Celebrate the unexpected.

Medicare Claim Process

1. Decide to buy a walk in tub because…

  • Safest Access Residential Tubs
  • Best Cost/Value available anywhere
  • Brim full of Benefits to give you a lifetime of blissful bathing
  • Eliminates the cause of most bathtub falls

2. Get a Prescription from your Doctor

  • A Prescription is mandatory for your Medicare Claim

3. Ask for a “Letter of Recommendation” from your Doctor (Optional, but very helpful)

  • This is your Doctor’s letter of support
  • It supports the medical necessity of the walk-in tub
  • It might describe your medical condition, how it benefits your living situation, benefits of the tub, how it treats your conditions, or whatever your Doctor chooses to write

4. Buy the American Tubs® made walk in tubs of your choice

  • Order, receive and install your tub
  • Retain all paperwork
  • Make a copy of the Invoice and your proof of payment…tub only, as Medicare will not reimburse construction costs, etc.

5. Enjoy the many Benefits of your new Walk in Tub

  • Note especially how good it makes you feel…physically, mentally, spiritually
  • Note changes and improvements in your medical condition, quality of life, etc.
  • Note specifics like pain relief, safe access, reduced fear of falling, etc.

6. Compose a Personal Letter

  • This is basically an appreciation letter for the new tub in your life
  • Express your thoughts and feelings now that you have experienced your new tub
  • Include what you noted above…things like your improved medical condition, not having to be bathed by someone else, relieved from the debilitating fear of falling, improved stay-at-home independence and quality of life, etc.
  • Sign your letter

7. Complete Medicare Form CMS-1490S

  • You must be enrolled in Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) to file any claim
  • Download Form CMS-1490S and Instructions ( Document included in the booklet)
  • If other questions, visit the Medicare website at

8. Download Your American Tubs ® Product Specification Sheet

  • This is a summary of your tub model to give the Medicare Claims Examiner, including pictures, descriptions, benefits and details about the tub you purchased
  • Print a copy for inclusion in your claim

9. Claim Filing Statement

  • Because walk-in tubs are not yet officially designated
  • DMEs, the company cannot file the claim for you…you must file it yourself
  • That being the case, Medicare will return your claim unless you include the following statement
  • “The supplier did not ‘refuse to file a claim for a Medicare-covered item or refused to enroll in Medicare.” Because this claim is for a walk-in tub not currently listed as ‘Durable Medical Equipment’ and therefore the supplier cannot file the claim, I am filing the claim”
  • Attach a copy of the Claim Filing Statement to your claim. A statement is included at the end of this booklet

10. Compile your original Claim, consisting of:

  • Form CMS-1490S completed per Instructions (#7)
  • Doctor’s Prescription…original attached to back of Form CMS-1490S (#2)
  • Doctor’s Letter of Recommendation…if Doctor provided (#3)
  • Your Personal Letter (#6)
  • American Tubs ® Model Specification Sheet (#8)
  • Tub Invoice and Proof of Payment
  • Claim Filing Statement (#9)
  • Anything else you feel might help support your claim

11. Copy your Claim

  • Make a copy of everything (#10)
  • Retain in your files

12. Mail your original Claim

  • Staple your Claim together so nothing gets lost
  • Enclose everything in a 9” X 12” envelope, keeping everything flat
  • Put your Return Address on the envelope
  • Address envelope to the correct Medicare address for your state…
  • Address Table included in this booklet
  • Attach sufficient postage and mail

Now sit back and enjoy your tub!

Medicare will respond to your Claim (keep everything they send you) as either…

1. Denied

• Know that you made a good try for reimbursement
• Enjoy a lifetime of bathing bliss in your new American Tubs® Walk in Tub

2. Approved

  • Now you can file a Claim with your Medigap (Medicare Supplement Insurance)
  • Contact your Supplement Insurance Agent immediately to find out their next steps
  • They will need copies of what Medicare sent you and may handle the Claim filing for you
  • Enjoy a lifetime of bathing bliss in your new Walk in Tub

Please help us help others

It would be helpful if you shared your Medicare response with us…either Denied or Approved. We will keep your identity private, but could use the information to improve the suggested process for others to benefit. Also, your responses could further assist in getting these tubs officially approved by Medicare as Durable Medical Equipment…much to the benefit of many more people. Please email your Medicare response information to:
[email protected]

Thank you.

Use the following address table to ensure the correct address will be provided on the claim.

If you live in:Return your form to:
Connecticut, Delaware, District ofColumbia, Maine, Maryland,Massachusetts, New Hampshire, NewJersey, New York, Pennsylvania,Rhode Island, VermontNHIC, Corp.P.O. Box 9165Hingham, MA 02043-9165
Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan,Minnesota, Ohio, WisconsinNational Government Services, Inc.DMEPOS OperationsMedicare DMEPOS ClaimsP.O. Box 7027Indianapolis, IN 46207-7027
Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida,Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, NewMexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma,Puerto Rico, South Carolina,Tennessee, Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands,Virginia, West VirginiaCIGNA Government ServicesP.O. Box 20010Nashville, TN 37202-0010
Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona,California, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa,Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska,Nevada, North Dakota, NorthernMariana Islands, Oregon, SouthDakota, Utah, Washington, WyomingNoridian Administrative ServicesP.O. Box 6727Fargo, ND 58108-6727


Medicare will pay you directly when you complete this form and attach an itemized bill from your doctor or supplier. Your bill does not have to be paid before you submit this claim for payment, but you MUST attach an itemized bill in order for Medicare to process this claim. Mail your completed claim form to the Medicare Carrier responsible for processing your claim. If you do not know the address of your carrier, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).


A. Completion of this form.

Block 1. Print your name shown on your Medicare Card (Last Name, First Name, Middle Name)

Block 2. Print your Health Insurance Claim Number including the letter at the end exactly as it is shown on your Medicare card.
Check the appropriate box for the patient’s sex.

Block 3. Furnish your mailing address and include your telephone number in Block 3b.

Block 4. Describe the illness or injury for which you received treatment. Check the appropriate box in Blocks 4b and 4c.

Block 5a. Complete this Block if you are age 65 or older and enrolled in a health insurance plan where you are currently working.

Block 5b. Complete this Block if you are age 65 or older and enrolled in a health insurance plan where your spouse is currently working.

Block 5c. Complete this Block if you have any medical coverage other than Medicare. Be sure to provide the Policy or Medical Assistance Number. You may check the box provided if you do not wish payment information from this claim released to your other insurer.

Block 6. Be sure to sign your name. If you cannot write your name, make an (X) mark. Then have a witness sign his or her name and address in Block 6 too.

If you are completing this form for another Medicare patient you should write (By) and sign your name and address in Block 6. You also should show your relationship to the patient and briefly explain why the patient cannot sign.

Block 6b. Print the date you completed this form.

B. Each itemized bill MUST show all of the following information:

  • Date of each service
  • Place of each service

Doctor’s Office Independent Laboratory Outpatient Hospital
Nursing Home Patient’s Home Inpatient Hospital

  • Description of each surgical or medical service or supply furnished.
  • Charge for EACH service.
  • Doctor’s or supplier’s name and address. Many times a bill will show the names of several doctors or suppliers. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THE ONE WHO TREATED YOU BE IDENTIFIED. Simply circle his/her name on the bill.
  • It is helpful if the diagnosis is also shown on the physician’s bill. If not, be sure you have completed Block 4 of this form.
  • It is helpful if the diagnosis is also shown on the physician’s bill. If not, be sure you have completed Block 4 of this form.
  • Mark out any services on the bill(s) you are attaching for which you have already filed a Medicare claim.
  • If the patient is deceased, please contact your Social Security office for instructions on how to file a claim.
  • Attach an Explanation of Medicare Benefits notice from the other insurer if you are also requesting Medicare payment.


We are authorized by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to ask you for information needed in the administration of the Medicare program. Authority to collect information is in section 205(a), 1872 and 1875 of the Social Security Act, as amended.

The information we obtain to complete your Medicare claim is used to identify you and to determine your eligibility. It is also used to decide if the services and supplies you received are covered by Medicare and to insure that proper payment is made.

The information may also be given to other providers of services, carriers, intermediaries, medical review boards, and other organizations as necessary to administer the Medicare program. For example, it may be necessary to disclose information to a hospital or doctor about the Medicare benefits you have used.

With one exception, which is discussed below, there are no penalties under Social Security law for refusing to supply information. However, failure to furnish information regarding the medical services rendered or the amount charged would prevent payment of the claim. Failure to furnish any other information, such as name or claim number, would delay payment of the claim.

It is mandatory that you tell us if you are being treated for a work related injury so we can determine whether worker’s compensation will pay for the treatment. Section 1877(a)(3) of the Social Security Act provides criminal penalties for withholding this information.

According to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, no persons are required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a valid OMB control number. The valid OMB control number for this information collection is 0938-0008. The time required to complete this information collection is estimated to average 16 minutes per response, including the time to review instructions, searching existing data resources, gather the data needed and complete and review the information collection. If you have any comments concerning the accuracy of the time estimate(s) or suggestions for improving this form, please write to: CMS, Attn: PRA Reports Clearance Officer, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21244-1850.


Medicare Claim Filing Statement
The supplier did not ‘refuse to file a claim for a Medicare-covered item or refused to enroll in Medicare’. Because this claim is for a Walk in Tub, not currently listed as ‘Durable Medical Equipment’ and therefore the supplier cannot file the claim, I am filing the claim

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