Does Medicare Cover Hot Tubs?

In this article...
  • Explore eligibility requirements for hot tub coverage under Medicare. Find out when hot tubs may be paid for and how much you might need to pay out of pocket.

A long soak in a hot tub can ease stress and rejuvenate you, and some studies suggest that their benefits may even go beyond relaxation. If your medical provider has suggested you use a hot tub regularly to address symptoms of an illness, injury or chronic condition, Medicare may cover the expense, depending on the details of your policy.

Does Medicare Cover Hot Tubs?

Medicare doesn't cover hot tubs for everyone. If you can establish that a hot tub is medically necessary and your policy doesn't expressly exclude payment for one, you may be able to receive financial assistance with purchasing one through your plan.

How Much Does a Hot Tub Cost?

As of October 2021, Home Advisor reports that basic hot tubs cost an average of $2,000 to $6,000 and that the highest-end hot tubs with the most features may cost up to $35,000. The actual price you can expect to pay depends on the tub that you choose, where you live and how much work will be involved to complete the installation process. You can often save money by waiting for sales events, negotiating with dealers and asking about models that have cosmetic flaws that may be sold at a reduced price.

Does Medicare Part B Cover Hot Tubs?

Some Medicare Part B plans state that hot tubs aren't covered under any circumstances. If yours doesn't, your purchase may qualify for coverage if you can prove that the tub is medically necessary. Hot tubs fall under the category of durable medical equipment. Should Medicare approve your claim, you'll likely be responsible for 20% of the cost of your new tub. You'll also need to satisfy your deductible before your plan will pay.

Do Medicare Advantage Plans Cover Hot Tubs?

Generally, Medicare Advantage Plans must cover anything that a Medicare Part B would usually pay for, including durable medical equipment. Whether your specific plan will provide coverage for a hot tub depends on your policy. Unless otherwise stated in your plan materials, hot tubs may be covered if they are medically necessary.

Will Medigap Plans Pay for Hot Tubs?

Medigap plans help to pay for out-of-pocket costs that are left over after Medicare pays its share of your medical expenses. If Medicare Part B approves you for a hot tub, your Medigap plan may cover all or part of the 20% that you'll typically be responsible for paying. You'll need to check your plan information to determine if hot tubs are listed among excluded expenses.

How Do I Find Out If My Plan Covers Hot Tubs?

Start by reviewing the information that you received when you signed up for your plan. If you don't have a paper copy, you should be able to locate one online. If you don't see any mention of hot tubs, contact the private insurer who administers your Medicare plan.

What Do I Need to Do to Get Medicare to Pay for a Hot Tub?

Whether your coverage is through Medicare Part B or a Medicare Advantage plan, you must prove that your hot tub is medically necessary. Follow these steps:

  1. Visit a health care provider who accepts Medicare.
  2. Discuss hot tubs as a treatment for your condition or injury.
  3. Receive a prescription for the hot tub.
  4. Obtain a letter from the medical provider that explains why and how a hot tub would help your symptoms.
  5. Send the letter to your Medicare provider.

If Medicare does agree to pay for your hot tub, you may have to purchase the fixture from a supplier approved by your plan.

Is a Hot Tub Tax Deductible?

Provided that you have a prescription and a letter of explanation from a physician, you may be able to deduct the cost as durable medical equipment, as hot tubs aren't included on the list of ineligible expenses in IRS Publication 502. Consult a tax professional for more information.

What Is Hydrotherapy?

Hydrotherapy is the term for addressing the symptoms of medical conditions with water. A 19th-century priest named Sebastian Kneipp is credited with development of the natural healing practice. Soaking in a hot tub is one modern form of hydrotherapy. Your medical provider is likely to mention hydrotherapy in the letter describing why a hot tub is medically necessary.

Are Hot Tubs Good for Arthritis Pain and Other Conditions?

Yes, the Mayo Clinic reports that heat therapy can help diminish the pain and stiffness associated with arthritis, and a hot tub provides a convenient form of heat therapy. Hot tubs may also be beneficial for other conditions and ailments, such as: 

  • Back pain
  • Hip pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Poor circulation
  • Stroke recovery

Ultimately, your doctor will be the one to determine whether or not a hot tub is likely to contribute to your treatment plan.

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