Though it is manageable and treatable, many people are too embarrassed to reach out for help with urinary incontinence, even to their personal physician. Some people admonish themselves for lack of self-control or accept the condition as part of aging while they silently suffer and withdraw from social activities.
Urology Care Foundation, the official foundation of the American Urological Association, shares statistics that demonstrate sufferers have a lot of company. The data shows that 25% to 33% of adults in America have been identified as having urinary incontinence with symptoms of urgency and frequency. Studies have also revealed the link between incontinence and other conditions. The risk of this ailment is associated with pregnancy, menopause, prostate issues, medications, obesity and poor health in general. Contrary to popular belief, the Urology Care Foundation rejects the notion that it is part and parcel of aging. It is also not hereditary.
Medicare benefits for bladder control products
There are four types of urinary continence, and the symptoms help to identify the type. Sometimes incontinence is temporary, a symptom of a vaginal or urinary tract infection. In that case, when the infection is treated, the incontinence would most likely subside on its own. The four types mentioned apply to an issue that is not temporary and needs to be treated or managed. This can be accomplished through a range of devices and products.
Original Medicare benefits do not include incontinence pads or adult diapers. These products absorb leakage and shield the skin from irritation and rashes, but the cost is fully out of pocket. If you have a Plan C, or Medicare Advantage, plan, it makes sense to check with your plan directly to find out if you may have additional coverage.
Devices for treating incontinence
Some people require equipment to treat uncontrollable urine leakage. These include indwelling catheters, external collecting systems, urine drainage bags and catheters for intermittent catheterization. Check coverage under Part A or Part B. If a device is administered in a hospital setting, it may fall under Medicare hospital insurance, Part A. If the procedure occurs in an outpatient facility or doctor’s office, inquire if this is covered under Part B. Part B also includes coverage for durable medical equipment (DME) and medical supplies for home use. The out-of-pocket expense for DME is 20% of the Medicare-approved amount. Medicare recipients are also responsible for the Part B deductible.
Even if you decide it is a tolerable situation and prefer not to talk about it, schedule a visit with your doctor anyway. It may be a symptom of an issue that can be addressed, such as an infection. In that case, if the root cause can be eradicated, the symptoms may go away as well.