Does Cigna Cover Incontinence Supplies?

In this article...
  • Discover the pros and cons of Cigna and whether it pays the benefits you need. For example, does Cigna cover incontinence supplies? This guide breaks it down.

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Adults living with incontinence rely on a number of medical supplies and products to keep their bladder control challenges from interfering with their daily living activities. Some people rely on durable medical equipment, which can be pricey. Others use disposable supplies to deal with their incontinence. Although these supplies are low in cost, the disposable nature means you have to purchase them over and over, and the small cost can add up to a large cost quickly.

While Medicare doesn't cover most incontinence supplies, many private health insurance plans do. So, if incontinence is something you're living with, it's important to understand what is and isn't covered before you decide on a policy. If you're considering buying health insurance from Cigna, this guide answers several important questions — most importantly, does Cigna cover incontinence supplies?

Does Cigna Cover Incontinence Supplies?

The good news is that Cigna's policies cover many consumable medical supplies used to treat incontinence. That means you have a range of treatment options to discuss with your doctor without cost having to play too big of a role in your decision. Click below to shop for plans available near you that may provide coverage for incontinence supplies.

Consumable vs. Durable Medical Equipment to Treat Incontinence

Cigna covers consumable supplies to treat incontinence. These supplies differ from durable medical equipment. Consumable medical supplies share the following features:

  • They are usually disposable.
  • They shouldn't be used or worn by more than one individual.
  • They serve a medical purpose.
  • They shouldn't be used in the absence of an illness or injury.
  • They may be purchased over the counter or prescribed by a doctor.

Durable medical equipment, meanwhile, has the following characteristics:

  • It serves a medical purpose.
  • It is intended for everyday use.
  • It is reliable, typically having an expected life span of at least 3 years.

In other words, the two types of equipment are similar in their uses. But one is meant to be disposed of and replaced regularly, and the other is expected to last for years. Many patients with incontinence prefer consumable supplies because they are less bulky, less obtrusive, more comfortable and more discreet.

What Consumable Incontinence Supplies Does Cigna Cover?

Cigna covers several types of consumable incontinence supplies. Here are the most popular ones:

  • Bladder control pads.Bladder control pads are flat pads worn on top of the genital region. They absorb lighter urine outputs and keep clothing from being soiled. They are generally known as the least intrusive and most discreet type of incontinence supply due to their small size. But their size also poses limitations, as it makes bladder control pads less effective against significant urine flow.

  • Male guards.Male guards work exactly like bladder control pads. The only difference is they're shaped and contoured for male genitals. They are also effective against light leakage but less so against larger urine outputs.

  • Protective underwear.Also known as "pull-ons," protective underwear is worn just like regular underwear, but it features a padded, absorbent lining designed to handle larger urine outputs than a bladder control pad. Because the pads are contained inside what is otherwise a normal-looking pair of underwear, pull-ons are also a discreet and unobtrusive option for incontinence management.

  • Adult briefs.Like pull-ons, adult briefs offer wearable protection against incontinence. The difference is that the padding is thicker, bulkier and more absorbent, making adult briefs more effective against higher volumes of urine and fecal matter.

  • Booster pads.Booster pads are supplemental pads that can be worn on top of another consumable incontinence supply, such as bladder control pads or pull-ons. It offers an extra layer of protection but does not provide enough absorbency to be used on its own.

  • Underpads are not meant to be worn. Instead, they are designed to protect surfaces from urine leakage when changing out a wearable incontinence product such as an adult brief.

  • External catheter.An external catheter, also known as a "condom catheter," collects urine via a condom-like device worn over the genitals and then routes the collected urine through a tube and into a collection bag worn outside the body.
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