Does Blue Cross Blue Shield Cover Incontinence Supplies?

In this article...
  • Find out if your Medicare Advantage plan covers the medical supplies you need. Does Blue Cross Blue Shield Cover incontinence supplies? In many cases, yes.

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Incontinence is an issue that many older adults face. Medications can treat it, but sometimes you need a little more than that. Consumable medical products for incontinence, such as adult diapers and incontinence liners, help you keep bladder or bowel control issues discreet and sanitary. You wear these products under your clothing and then dispose of them after each usage.

Although consumable incontinence supplies are inexpensive, the cost can add up if you use them daily. Medicare, unfortunately, does not cover most incontinence supplies. But many Medicare Advantage plans do. If incontinence is something that affects your life, it's important to make sure the supplies you need are covered before purchasing any private health insurance plan.

Does Blue Cross Blue Shield cover incontinence supplies? In many cases, yes. The guide below goes over the different types of supplies and what is covered by a Blue Cross Blue Shield plan. And by clicking the button below you can find Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in your area that may cover incontinence supplies.

Types of Consumable Incontinence Supplies

When it comes to consumable incontinence supplies, you have several options. Your lifestyle, mobility and level of incontinence determine which is best for you. Some older adults purchase multiple types of incontinence supplies and use them in different situations.

Adult Diapers

Adult diapers are worn under your clothes and collect urine or fecal matter that leaks from your body due to incontinence. There are many types of adult diapers available. The two main types are disposable and cloth. Disposable adult diapers are convenient, as you simply throw them away after each usage, but they're more expensive over time since they're not reusable. Cloth diapers require more work, but they're cheaper in the long run.

Bladder Control Pads

Bladder control pads are flat pads made of cloth that females can wear over their genitals to absorb fluid leakage. Since they're less bulky than adult diapers, they are generally more comfortable to wear. You can also wear them discreetly under many types of clothing. The only downside to bladder control pads is that, because of their smaller size and thin material, they're not suitable for larger leaks.

Adult Briefs

Adult briefs, also known as pull-ons, are designed to be easy to put on and take off. They’re made from breathable fabrics, so they’re comfortable to wear for long periods. Adult briefs are ideal if you struggle with mobility or have trouble using traditional fasteners such as buttons and zippers. Because they provide full coverage and form a tight seal against your skin, they offer better leak protection than bladder control pads.

Male Guards for Incontinence

Male guards are the male counterpart to bladder control pads. They are worn over the male genitals and feature an absorbent core that captures urine and keeps it away from your skin. This core is typically surrounded by a moisture-proof barrier to prevent leaks.

External Catheters

External catheters, also known as condom catheters, are worn like a condom for males and fit around the urethra for females. They collect urine as it leaves your body and route it to a discreet pouch for collection. External catheters are helpful if you're bedridden or have difficulty getting up and down to use the restroom. They're also helpful for people who are unable to control their bladders. External catheters require special care to ensure they don't cause infection.

Booster Pads for Incontinence

Booster pads provide a "boost" to increase the absorbency of regular underwear or adult diapers, which helps reduce leakage. They work by increasing the surface area of the pad that makes contact with the skin, which increases the coverage area and gives greater protection against leaks. Like bladder control pads and male guards, booster pads come with an absorbent core to quickly soak up urine.


Underpads are used for cleanup after accidents. You can use them to protect furniture, mattresses and other surfaces from fluids and stains. They are also helpful for cleaning up accidents when traveling or on the go.

Does Blue Cross Blue Shield Cover Incontinence Supplies?

Blue Cross Blue Shield explicitly states that its Medicare Plus Blue Group PPO plans cover certain incontinence supplies, including adult diapers and bladder control pads. However, it does not state that it covers items such as adult briefs (pull-ons) or washable underwear or panties. These products are often considered luxury items rather than necessities, and as a result, many insurance plans don't cover them.

It's important to note that group insurance plans can vary in what they cover based on the group itself. Some groups elect to cover more items, or cover items at higher dollar amounts, than other groups. A licensed insurance agent can help you understand the terms of any plan you are considering, including all its caveats and exclusions.

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