Will Medicare Pay For a Hospital Bed?


Navigating the complexities of Medicare can be daunting, especially when it comes to understanding what is covered under your health insurance plan. One common question that arises is whether Medicare will pay for a hospital bed. This blog aims to answer that question comprehensively.

What is Medicare?

Medicare is a federal health insurance program primarily for people aged 65 and older, although it also covers certain younger individuals with disabilities. The program is divided into several Medicare Parts, each covering different aspects of healthcare:

  • Part A (Hospital Insurance): Covers inpatient hospital stays, care in a skilled nursing facility, hospice care, and some home health care.
  • Part B (Medical Insurance): Covers certain doctors’ services, outpatient care, medical supplies, and preventive services.
  • Part C (Medicare Advantage Plans): An alternative to Original Medicare, offered by private companies approved by Medicare.
  • Part D (Prescription Drug Coverage): Helps cover the cost of prescription drugs.

Medicare and Durable Medical Equipment (DME)

Hospital beds fall under a category called Durable Medical Equipment (DME), which includes items like wheelchairs, walkers, and oxygen equipment. For Medicare to cover a hospital bed, certain conditions must be met:

  • Medical Necessity: Your doctor must deem it medically necessary for you to have a hospital bed at home.
  • Medicare-Enrolled Supplier: You must obtain the hospital bed from a supplier enrolled in Medicare.
  • Doctor’s Prescription: A prescription from your doctor stating that a hospital bed is necessary for your condition.

Also Read: What is The Best Medicare Advantage Plans in California 2024?

Types of Hospital Beds Covered by Medicare

Medicare Part B covers hospital beds as DME if they meet the following criteria:

  • Adjustable Beds: These beds can be adjusted to different positions, such as elevating the head or foot sections.
  • Semi-Electric Beds: These beds have motorized controls for adjusting the head and foot sections but require manual adjustment for the height.
  • Heavy Duty Beds: Designed for patients who weigh more than 350 pounds.

It’s important to note that fully electric beds, which allow for complete adjustment with electronic controls, are generally not covered unless deemed medically necessary.

The Process for Getting a Hospital Bed

Step 1: Medical Assessment

The first step is to consult your doctor. They will evaluate your medical condition and determine if a hospital bed is necessary. Conditions that often necessitate a hospital bed include severe arthritis, cardiac conditions, chronic pain, or recovery from surgery.

Step 2: Prescription and Documentation

If your doctor determines that a hospital bed is necessary, they will provide a prescription and any required documentation. This paperwork must detail your medical condition and explain why a hospital bed is needed.

Step 3: Choose a Medicare-Enrolled Supplier

Once you have the prescription, the next step is to find a Medicare-enrolled supplier. You can use the Medicare Supplier Directory on the official Medicare website to find suppliers in your area.

Step 4: Submit the Documentation

Provide the supplier with your prescription and any other required documentation. The supplier will then submit a claim to Medicare on your behalf.

Step 5: Approval and Delivery

If Medicare approves the claim, the supplier will deliver the hospital bed to your home. Medicare typically covers 80% of the cost, and you are responsible for the remaining 20%, including any applicable deductibles.

Best Medicare Insurance Plans for DME Coverage

Not all Medicare Insurance plans are created equal when it comes to coverage for durable medical equipment. Here are some tips for choosing the best plan for your needs:

Original Medicare (Part A and Part B)

Original Medicare covers hospital beds under Part B, as long as the conditions mentioned earlier are met. However, you may be responsible for 20% of the Medicare-approved amount after meeting your deductible.

Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C)

Some Medicare Advantage Plans offer additional benefits that Original Medicare does not cover. These plans are offered by private companies approved by Medicare and may have different rules and costs. Make sure to review the plan’s details to understand what DME is covered and any associated costs.

Supplemental Insurance (Medigap)

If you have Original Medicare, you might consider purchasing a Medigap policy to help cover out-of-pocket costs. Medigap plans help pay for expenses like copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles that Original Medicare does not cover. However, Medigap policies do not cover everything, so be sure to review the details carefully.

Tips for Managing Costs

Although Medicare can help cover the cost of a hospital bed, you may still have out-of-pocket expenses. Here are some tips for managing these costs:

  • Compare Suppliers: Different suppliers may have different prices for the same equipment. Don’t hesitate to shop around.
  • Consider Rental Options: Medicare may cover the rental of a hospital bed instead of purchasing one, which can be more cost-effective.
  • Check Additional Programs: Look into state and local programs that may offer additional financial assistance for medical equipment.


Understanding whether Medicare will pay for a hospital bed involves navigating through several steps and requirements. The key is to ensure that your doctor deems it medically necessary, that you obtain the bed through a Medicare-enrolled supplier, and that you have all the required documentation.

By following these steps and exploring the best Medicare insurance plans for DME coverage, you can make an informed decision and manage your healthcare needs efficiently.

If you have any questions or need further assistance, feel free to reach out to our team. We’re here to help you every step of the way.

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