Are adult diapers covered by Medicare?

Does Medicare cover adult diapers? Medicare doesn't cover incontinence supplies unless you require them as an inpatient. Adult diapers are not covered by Medicare, and can cost $150 each month. There are options to get help with adult diaper cost from Medicaid, Veterans programs, or community groups.

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Chris Tepedino is a feature writer that has written extensively about home, life, and car insurance for numerous websites. He has a college degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and has experience reporting, researching investigative pieces, and crafting detailed, data-driven features. His works have been featured on CB Blog Nation, Flow Words, Healing Law, WIBW Kansas, and C...

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance for 10 years. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Former Licensed Agent

UPDATED: Nov 19, 2021

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The Rundown

  • Traditional Medicare will not cover adult diapers
  • Medicaid will cover incontinence supplies though
  • There are also veterans and community programs that can  help

Does Medicare cover adult diapers? Unfortunately, while you may be hoping to find free incontinence supplies for seniors, that’s not the case with Medicare health insurance.

That’s frustrating, but we can help. There are still options to save money through Medicaid, veterans, and community programs. We’ll tell you how to get help with incontinence supplies below.

Read on to learn more about coverage for adult diapers if you’re on Medicare. To compare rates for Medicare plans, enter your ZIP code now.

Does Medicare cover incontinence supplies?

If you’re hoping to get free incontinence supplies for seniors, you probably won’t be happy. Traditional Medicare coverage doesn’t cover incontinence supplies for seniors. You will need to pay for those supplies out of pocket.

Usually, Medicare Advantage plans would be your best bet in getting coverage outside of Medicare, but you’re unlikely to find anything that will cover the cost of incontinence supplies.

Does Medicare pay for incontinence briefs?

According to Medicare.gov, you’ll be 100% responsible for paying for any adult diapers or any other incontinence tools. There aren’t any cases where you’ll find incontinence briefs covered by Medicare.

If you require an adult diaper or some other assistance as a patient in a facility, Medicare may cover that.

So, in short, does Medicare pay for adult diapers? Unless you are in a facility where Medicare incontinence supplies are part of the stay, you’ll be 100% responsible for the cost.

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Does Medicaid cover the cost of adult diapers?

Medicaid is a different plan from Medicare. Whether or not Medicaid will pay for incontinence supplies will come down to where you live. Each state determines what the Medicaid program will cover.

For example, Tennessee currently offers incontinence products as a necessary medical item through the Medicaid program. Not only does this include diapers, but it extends to liners and underpads as well.

To qualify, you need to receive Medicaid and have a qualifying condition.

How much do incontinence supplies for seniors cost?

Depending on how much diapers are and the frequency in which you use them, you can expect to pay over $100 a month on adult diapers alone. That can add up, so any help you can get makes a difference.

Are there other options besides incontinence supplies covered by Medicare?

There are still options if you don’t qualify for Medicaid and have no other way to get help with the cost of incontinence supplies. For example, to get affordable incontinence supplies for seniors, you could consider:

  • Veterans’ Administration – The VA issues diapers to its customers, but they’re known for being of lesser quality.
  • Veterans’ Home – If you qualify for Veterans Directed Care, you can get financial support for your needs.
  • Non-Profit Diaper Banks – You may be able to find a local organization that can provide you with adult diapers at no charge.

Researching your local Medicaid programs and any community programs may help you find options for incontinence supplies.

What is incontinence of the bladder?

Inability to control your bladder is known as incontinence. This uncomfortable condition can range from leaking urine occasionally to a complete failure to hold it in.

According to the Mayo Clinic, there are several symptoms to be aware of with incontinence:

  • Stress – When you laugh, sneeze, cough, or do another similar action, and you leak urine.
  • Urge – You have a sudden urge to go but cannot hold it in to get to the toilet.
  • Functional – If you’re unable to make it to the bathroom due to a mental or physical condition.
  • Overflow – Urine leaks because your bladder doesn’t empty when you go.

Any of these conditions can put you in an embarrassing situation, so you’re likely to notice.

What can cause incontinence?

Urinary incontinence can be caused by various factors, from what you drink to physical conditions that limit movement. Some examples of common causes of incontinence include:

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Urinary Tract Infection
  • Constipation
  • Changes with age
  • Childbirth

Anything that acts as a diuretic, like alcohol, will increase urine production and may cause you to go uncontrollably. Also, any condition that causes trauma to the urethra or bladder will likely have some impact on your urination.

Some examples of when to go to the doctor for your incontinence include:

  • Keep you from work or social activities
  • You feel unhappy due to the frequent need to urinate
  • Have other symptoms like blood in your urine

While you can decide whether or not to go to the doctor, one or more of the above symptoms should send you immediately.

Are there any treatments for incontinence?

Luckily there are treatments available if you’re currently living with incontinence. While it will be up to a trained medical professional to decide what’s right for you, some of these treatments might include:

  • Bladder training – Practicing holding in the urine for longer and longer periods.
  • Double voiding – Using the bathroom then waiting a few minutes before trying again.
  • Scheduled trips – Setting a schedule could help keep from having frequent accidents.

There are other methods your doctor may try, including pelvic floor exercises and changes in diet.

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Incontinence and Medicare: The Bottom Line

Does Medicare pay for incontinence supplies? While Medicare covers no incontinence products, there are still options. Whether through community or government programs, you can still find an affordable way to get the supplies you need.

Medicare doesn’t usually cover adult diapers, but you can still get better coverage by comparing options. Enter your ZIP code into our free quote tool for free Medicare coverage quotes.

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