Caring for loved ones who are bedridden can be a formidable task. Caregivers are not only responsible for their daily care and well-being; they are also responsible for the patient’s safety. Keeping them safe can be difficult if the patient is restless or makes attempts to get up when it is not possible. Having a bed fit with safety rails may be the best option for protecting them from rolling or falling out of bed, or to provide support when they want to pull themselves up.

If you are caring for someone in their home who needs bed rails, it is important to know if Medicare benefits cover this type of protective equipment.

Medicare Coverage for Bed Rails
Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover the cost of detachable bed rails that are meant to be used on conventional beds. However, Medicare recipients may be eligible for a hospital bed which includes attachable and adjustable side rails. If the patient already has a hospital bed but it does not include bed rails, Medicare may approve attachable side rails to be used as an accessory to the existing hospital bed.

Under Original Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance), hospital beds are classified under the category of durable medical equipment (DME). If the person requiring this piece of equipment has Part B Medicare benefits, there is coverage for durable medical equipment. There are some conditions to receiving this coverage, including the following:

• The patient’s physician must write a prescription for the equipment.
• The equipment can only be used in the home where care is provided.
• Both the physician prescribing the equipment and the DME supplier must
accept Medicare assignment.

The out-of-pocket cost of the hospital bed depends on whether the supplier accepts Medicare assignment. If this is the case, the Medicare recipient pays 20 percent of the amount that has been approved by Medicare, and Medicare pays for 80 percent of the final cost. The Part B deductible also applies. As of 2019, the Part B deductible is $185.00 per year.

If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan, you will have at least the same benefits as Original Medicare Part A and Part B, but many MA plans offer additional benefits. Check with your plan regarding costs for DME you may need.

Can Medicare Recipients Get Coverage for a Hospital Bed?
Depending on the type of durable medical equipment, there may be the option to buy it or rent it from a Medicare enrolled supplier. For most DMEs, Medicare makes the final decision whether the equipment can be purchased or rented. Because hospital beds are relatively expensive, Medicare provides coverage for monthly rental fees in most cases. Medicare pays 80 percent and the recipient pays 20 percent of the approved monthly fee. The Part B deductible also applies for equipment rental.

In the case of rented DMEs, the supplier is responsible for repairing it, and for the cost of any repairs or replacement parts. The supplier is also responsible for the delivery and pick up of the DME either for repairing it, or if it is no longer needed.

The cost of a home hospital bed depends on many factors that include location, the type of bed, and the quality. They normally run between $500.00 for the most basic bed, and up to $5,000.00 for a state-of-the-art home hospital bed.

If you are considering a hospital bed with safety rails for yourself or a loved one, be sure to discuss all your options with your healthcare providers. Make sure that the supplier you choose for your equipment rental accepts Medicare assignment so you can get coverage from your Medicare benefits.

Related articles:

What is Medicare Parts A & B

What is Medigap?