Does Blue Cross pay for walk in showers?

3 answers | Last updated: Oct 05, 2017
Annettemartin91 asked...

need a walk in shower


Expert Answers

Chris Moore is a certified aging in place specialist (CAPS) and the founder and president of Solid Rock Enterprises, Inc. He is a contractor with more than 24 years of experience in residential construction. He specializes in using the principles of universal design to help seniors age in place in their own homes. He writes a monthly column called Housing Matters on the Senior News website.

You asked,"Does Blue Cross pay for walk in showers?" In order to answer this question definitively you would have to read your policy and see what is covered and what isn't. Generally speaking, most medical insurance does not cover home modifications like a walk in shower. In Virginia, where I live there is a tax credit that will help offset some of the cost of this type of home modification. Additionally, the Veteran's Administration has programs that will pay for home modifications like a walk in shower. There are also civic and church groups as well as organizations like Rebuilding Together that often have funding available. Another lower cost alternative to a walk in shower would be to cut out the tub wall and use a product like the Safeway Safety Step. (at www.safewaysafetystep.com)


Community Answers

Starfaced answered...

Not sure where you at located, but at this moment at Westfield Shopping Center in Montgomery County, is a model walk in shower. It's one and a half times the size of a telephone both, well proportioned, good gripping surfaces, tiled, bright, good drop down seat and hand held shower nozzle. Heaven, in other words. If not on your city, find it in the web, suggest to local plumbers that they set one up in a nearby mall so people can see for themselves. The IRS rules for deductibility are very straightforward. What does the handicapped installation cost, how much was the house worth before the improvement, how much value was added after, that, that's your number. As I say to people, the medical deductibility is there whether you use it or not. It is mindless lack of understanding not to put these things in motion. Seniors should not have to suffer with an ill equipped bathroom and shower. Make these improvements to their welfare, take the deductibility where you can. And where you haven't met the deductibility threshold, add the capital improvements to the eventual sale. Would you pay more for a home with tasteful improvements for accessibility and safety that allow for Aging in Place?


Tcmarc answered...

I don't think Medicare will cover a walk-in shower, but as Starfaced said, it's well worth the cost if you plan to keep your loved one at home. We remodeled one bathroom, adding a 76" wide walk-in shower with bench, a handicap toilet and grab bars. We had to replace and/or upgrade the flooring, some of the plumbing and electrical fixtures, and add some cabinetry. We did almost all the work ourselves since we have family and close friends who are plumbers, carpenters, electricians, and all-around handipeople. The cost was around $2500, and what my mother-in-law's finances couldn't cover, we pitched in and got it done.

It wasn't easy; I gave up my Thanksgiving and Christmas days off on top of covering the cost of a carpenter, but it was so worth it when we could get my mother-in-law in and out of the shower so much more easily. And when she's gone and we have to get rid of her home, the upgraded bath will only add to the value.