Hot tubs aren't just a luxury, for many people regular hydrotherapy is a medical necessity. But will your health insurance cover the cost of a new hot tub?
Health insurance policy coverage does vary but there are certain medical conditions for which a hot tub or swim spa may be approved, especially if the bill works out cheaper than ongoing medical expenses for visiting an approved hydrotherapy center regularly.
Read on to discover when private or Medicare coverage will pay for a hot tub and how to make a claim for hot tub therapy for your medical condition.
Will My Health Insurance Company Pay for a Hot Tub?
Are Hot Tubs Medical Equipment?
Although you need to check your policy wording, most health insurance policies will cover hot tubs as medical equipment if you have a doctor's prescription stating you need one for a legitimate medical condition.
Your doctor is most likely to provide such a prescription if you need to use a hot tub regularly for relief from conditions such as:
The severity of the pain is also important. Demonstrating the medical necessity of a Medicare approved hot tub generally means showing your condition is debilitating to a significant extent had that hot tub therapy is essential for you to engage with daily life more easily.
If it is simply a case of soothing a non-limiting discomfort, Medicare health insurance is unlikely to cover hot tubs, although they may still cover the cost of some warm water hydrotherapy treatments in an approved spa facility if prescribed by your doctor.
What Does Your Insurance Company Say?
Even if your hot tub purchase is a genuine medical expense, it's possible your insurance policy simply doesn't include hot tubs.
Medicare approved hot tubs come at a significant cost to the provider, so they are sometimes be listed as a specific exclusion to the provision of durable medical equipment to prevent this. Meanwhile, some Medicare policies state explicitly that they do include hot tub coverage under particular circumstances.
If it is not clear from the policy wording itself, it's best to contact your insurance company and ask them directly. That way you can also check the correct procedure for getting your hot tub covered.
How Do I Get Medicare to Pay For a Hot Tub?
The most important thing in terms of getting your hot tub coverage approved is that you present the insurance company with a compelling case for the medical necessity of a Medicare approved hot tub as a treatment for a legitimate medical condition.
The best way to do this is by sending a written request to the insurer, clearly laying out the case for why they should cover the cost of your hot tub therapy, and that you need to use the hot tub regularly enough that a home tub will be less expensive in the long run than ongoing spa appointments.
Make sure you include the following information in your submission to the health insurance company:
There is no guarantee your claim will be accepted by the company, even if the insurance policy does theoretically include hot tub provision. Bear this in mind and make sure you await their answer before making purchase you can't afford.
Is My Hot Tub Purchase Tax Deductible?
Even if you don't have suitable Medicare coverage to pay for your hot tub, there is still some good news.
You may well be able to get your hot tub covered as a tax deduction. There are many items which are considered tax-deductible medical equipment and there is no specific exclusion relating to hot tubs.
If you have the prescription from your doctor to show your hot hot tub is a medical necessity, and the problem was simply that your Medicare coverage policy doesn't pay for hot tubs, you should be able to get a deduction for the purchase and installation costs, as well as ongoing expenses related to running and maintaining a hot tub.
As a tax-deductible expense, some states will even waive/refund the sales tax.
Need a Hot Tub?
The Bottom Line
Will Medicare pay for a hot tub? If you have a chronic/severe medical condition which is shown to be alleviated by using a hot tub, and a doctor's prescription to that effect, your hot tub counts as a medical necessity.
Whether Medicare approves coverage for hot tubs as medical expenses varies between policies, so check yours carefully and ask your provider if unsure. If your Medicare policy will pay for a hot tub, make sure you follow the correct process and include the appropriate supporting evidence with your claim.
Even if your insurance doesn't pay for hot tubs, don't give up too soon. A much better idea is to look at whether the purchase counts as tax-deductible medical equipment.
If you need a hot tub for medical purposes, your requirements may well be quite specific. Filling out the form below will let local dealers know exactly what you're looking for. They'll send you the lowest quotes available on suitable models, putting you well on the way to owning a Medicare approved hot tub.
About The Author
Full-time staff writer at wyllz.com and stay-at-home mom.