Does Medicare cover a "Soft Tub?"

La voynne asked...

Does Medicare cover a "Soft Tub" for someone who is on Disability? I have had back surgery, have fibromyalgia, Arthritis, have a nerve stimulator implant for pain and I still have a lot of pain. I have sat in a hot tub before and helps. Can you answer my question?

Expert Answer

Unfortunately, Medicare almost certainly would not cover a "soft tub" portable hot tub, even though it provides you with relief from your pain. The reason is that Medicare Part B only covers certain medical devices and equipment that it certifies, and requires a doctor's prescription for any such device or equipment. A hot tub, like massage, over-the-counter heating pads and the like, while very helpful in relieving pain for many people, are not considered "medical" and so are not covered. You may want to let your doctor know that the tub provides you with relief, and ask the doctor about what medical devices there are that Medicare Part B does cover that provides heat-based relief (like a tub does) and might help you manage your pain. If there is such a covered device, your doctor would have to write you a prescription for it before Medicare would cover it.