Does Medicare Cover Bedside Commodes?

Christian Worstell
In this article...
  • Find out if Medicare covers bedside commodes and learn about the criteria and out-of-pocket costs Medicare recipients must meet to obtain this type of medical equipment.

Bedside commodes are portable toilets that are typically set up at bedsides to provide a convenient solution to using the bathroom. These devices are often used in hospital and home settings to help those with limited mobility or illnesses avoid accidents when navigating to the restroom. While bedside commodes aren't generally very expensive, they can still present a significant expense to those living on limited incomes or dealing with large medical bills. Understanding what Medicare covers and how much bedside commodes cost can give beneficiaries a better idea of their options.

Does Medicare Cover Bedside Commodes?

Bedside commodes are considered durable medical equipment (DME) under Medicare, and the devices are covered by Medicare when physicians prescribe them for recipients who have mobility or other medical issues that hinder them from using standard bathroom toilets. 

Medicare recipients are required to pay 20% of the Medicare-approved cost of the bedside commode and apply the Medicare Part B deductible. Medicare only covers DME if the recipient's physician and the equipment supplier are enrolled in the Medicare program, and failure to stay enrolled can result in unpaid claims by Medicare. 

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Are Prescriptions Required for Bedside Commodes?

Prescriptions and physician's orders are required by Medicare and other insurance companies for recipients to receive coverage for bedside commodes. However, if an individual chooses to purchase a bedside commode out of pocket, the devices can be purchased at medical supply stores, retail chains and multiple online markets. 

How Much Do Bedside Commodes Cost?

Bedside commodes vary in cost depending on the specific model type, features and size. The cost of a bedside commode ranges from around  $40 all the way up to a few thousand, with basic fixed models in the low range and transportable 3-in-1 models in the higher ranges. 

Additional Coverage to Help Pay Out-of-Pocket Costs

Individuals with Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans may be able to receive assistance in paying out-of-pocket costs for bedside commodes. Recipients can learn more about their additional coverage options by contacting their Medicare Advantage or Supplement plan providers. 

Things to Consider Before Purchasing or Renting a Bedside Commode

Bedside commodes are not one-size-fits all because certain individuals may require additional support in terms of weight capacity, handrails and other features. For example, bariatric commodes are specifically crafted for individuals weighing over 250 pounds. The commodes are designed with armrests, backrests and padded seats.

3-in-1 commodes are usually covered by Medicare when accompanied by a physician's order, and these units can be placed next to the bed, in the shower and over existing toilets. Medicare recipients should weigh out the pros and cons of the features and benefits of various Medicare-approved bedside commodes to make informed decisions on the best option for their particular needs. 

What Is the Difference Between a Toilet and a Bedside Commode?

The main difference between a toilet and a bedside commode is that a toilet is connected to plumbing while a bedside commode is freestanding and portable. Bedside commodes must be emptied and cleaned manually, preferably after each use. Toilets are emptied by a flush mechanism, and the waste travels through the plumbing system. 

Christian Worstell
About the Author

Christian Worstell is a senior Medicare and health insurance writer with He is also a licensed health insurance agent. Christian is well-known in the insurance industry for the thousands of educational articles he’s written, helping Americans better understand their health insurance and Medicare coverage.

Christian’s work as a Medicare expert has appeared in several top-tier and trade news outlets including Forbes, MarketWatch, WebMD and Yahoo! Finance.

While at HelpAdvisor, Christian has written hundreds of articles that teach Medicare beneficiaries the best practices for navigating Medicare. His articles are read by thousands of older Americans each month. By better understanding their health care coverage, readers may hopefully learn how to limit their out-of-pocket Medicare spending and access quality medical care.

Christian’s passion for his role stems from his desire to make a difference in the senior community. He strongly believes that the more beneficiaries know about their Medicare coverage, the better their overall health and wellness is as a result.

A current resident of Raleigh, Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. You can find Christian’s most recent articles in our blog.

If you’re a member of the media looking to connect with Christian, please don’t hesitate to email our public relations team at

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