Maintaining independence and dignity are vital aspects of a person’s life, especially when facing mobility challenges or recovering from an illness or surgery. Bedside commodes ensure the comfort and convenience of individuals with difficulty using standard toilets. Does Medicare cover bedside commodes? Also, when it comes to financial concerns, many people wonder if Medicare covers the cost of bedside commodes. In this article, we will delve into the coverage provided by Medicare for bedside commodes and explore the eligibility criteria and requirements.

Understanding Medicare:

Medicare, the Federal Health Insurance Program for Seniors and People with Disabilities under the Age of 65, was established in 1965.

It consists of several parts, including Part A (Hospital Insurance), Part B (Medical Insurance), Part C (Medicare Advantage Plans), and Part D (Prescription Drug Coverage). The coverage provided by Medicare is subject to specific guidelines and regulations established by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Medicare Coverage for Different Types of Bedside Commodes:

As mentioned earlier, Medicare generally covers basic bedside commodes that meet functional requirements. These commodes are designed to provide individuals with a convenient and safe alternative for toileting needs. However, coverage may change based on the features and design of the toilet in question.

Standard Bedside Commodes: Medicare coverage primarily applies to standard bedside commodes, which are simple in design and functionality. These commodes typically consist of a seat, a frame, and a removable container for waste. Medicare will typically cover a portion of the rental cost for a standard commode if it is deemed medically necessary.

Upgraded or Specialized Bedside Commodes: If an individual requires a commode with additional features or specifications beyond what is considered medically necessary, they may incur additional out-of-pocket expenses. For example, suppose a commode has custom modifications or advanced functionalities, such as adjustable height, padded seating, or specialized accessories. In that case, Medicare may not cover the full cost or any additional expenses associated with these upgrades.

Eligibility Criteria:

To qualify for coverage, Medicare requires that individuals meet certain criteria:

  1. Medical Necessity: A healthcare professional must deem bedside commodes medically necessary to assist with a medical condition, disability, or recovery process.
  2. Doctor’s Prescription: A doctor or healthcare provider must prescribe the use of a bedside commode as part of a treatment plan or to facilitate independent living.
  3. Home Use: The bedside commode should be primarily used at home, indicating that it is not typically intended for use in a healthcare facility or nursing home.

Coverage Details:

Medicare Part B may help pay for a bedside toilet if you meet the requirements. However, it’s important to note that Medicare typically covers DME under a rental agreement rather than a purchase arrangement. This means that Medicare beneficiaries may be eligible for a monthly rental payment for the duration of medical necessity.

Additionally, Medicare coverage generally applies to standard bedside commodes, which are basic in nature and meet functional requirements. Beneficiaries may be responsible for the additional cost if they desire a commode with additional features or upgrades beyond what is considered medically necessary.

Coverage Limitations:

It’s essential to be aware of certain limitations and coverage restrictions related to bedside commodes:

  1. Deductibles and Co-payments: Medicare Part B requires individuals to meet a deductible amount before coverage kicks in. After the deductible is met, beneficiaries are typically responsible for a 20% co-payment of the Medicare-approved amount.
  2. Competitive Bidding: Medicare has implemented a competitive bidding program in certain areas of the United States. This program establishes a network of approved suppliers for DME, including bedside commodes. Make sure the provider is on the accepted network if you want to be covered by them.
  3. Coverage Documentation: To ensure coverage for a bedside commode, it is crucial to have proper documentation, including a doctor’s prescription, medical records, and any supporting documentation that highlights the medical necessity.

How to Obtain Coverage for a Bedside Commode:

To ensure coverage for a bedside commode under Medicare, follow these steps:

  1. Consult with a Healthcare Professional: Discuss your mobility or medical needs with your doctor or healthcare provider. They will examine you and decide if a bedside toilet is a necessity based on their findings.
  2. Obtain a Prescription: Ask your doctor or healthcare provider to provide a written prescription for a bedside commode, specifying the medical necessity and the duration for which it is required. Ensure the prescription includes the specific features or requirements needed, if applicable.
  3. Find an Approved Supplier: Medicare has a list of approved suppliers for DME, including bedside commodes. In order to be properly billed and reimbursed by Medicare, it is crucial that the provider you select is a part of the recognized network.
  4. Complete Required Documentation: Gather all the necessary documentation to support your claim for coverage. This typically includes the doctor’s prescription, medical records, and any additional documents highlighting the bedside commode’s medical necessity. Adequate documentation is crucial for receiving Medicare coverage.
  5. Understand Costs and Coverage: Familiarize yourself with the cost-sharing requirements associated with Medicare coverage. This includes deductibles, co-payments, and any competitive bidding program requirements in your area. By understanding the financial aspects, you can plan for any potential out-of-pocket expenses.


Regarding Medicare coverage for bedside commodes, meeting the eligibility criteria and adhering to the guidelines set by Medicare is crucial. Bedside commodes may be covered under Medicare Part B when prescribed by a healthcare professional, deemed medically necessary, and used primarily at home. However, it’s important to remember that coverage is typically provided under a rental arrangement and may be subject to deductibles, co-payments, and competitive bidding requirements.

To ensure the best understanding of your specific situation and coverage, it is recommended to consult with Medicare directly or speak with a healthcare professional knowledgeable in Medicare guidelines.


Q1. Does Medicare cover the cost of a bedside commode?

A1. Yes, Medicare may cover the cost of a bedside commode if it is deemed medically necessary.

Q2. What criteria must be met for Medicare coverage of a bedside commode?

A2. You must have a medical necessity for a bedside commode and have it prescribed as part of your treatment or rehabilitation plan for Medicare to pay for it.

Q3. Is a referral required for Medicare coverage of a bedside commode?

A3. A referral is typically not required for Medicare coverage of a bedside commode, but a prescription from a healthcare provider is necessary.

Q4. Does Medicare cover the full cost of a bedside commode?

A4. Medicare generally covers 80% of the approved amount for a bedside commode. Unless you have supplementary insurance, you will be responsible for 20% of the total cost as a co-payment or co-insurance.

Q5. Can Medicare cover the rental or purchase of a bedside commode?

A5. Medicare may cover the rental or purchase of a bedside commode, depending on the specific item and your medical needs. In some cases, rental may be more cost-effective.

Q6. Are there any limitations on the quantity or frequency of Medicare-covered bedside commodes?

A6. Medicare coverage for bedside commodes is based on medical necessity. Your healthcare provider’s prescription and documentation of need will determine the quantity and frequency of coverage.

Q7. Does Medicare cover the cost of accessories or replacement parts for a bedside commode?

A7. Medicare typically covers necessary accessories or replacement parts for a bedside commode if they are directly related to the functioning of the commode and deemed medically necessary.

Q8. Are there any specific requirements for Medicare to cover a bedside commode?

A8. Medicare requires that the bedside commode is prescribed by a healthcare provider, deemed medically necessary, and obtained from a Medicare-approved supplier.

Q9. Can Medicare cover the cost of shipping or delivery for a bedside commode?

A9. Medicare generally does not cover shipping or delivery costs for a bedside commode. However, some suppliers may offer delivery services at an additional cost.

Q10. How can I find suppliers who accept Medicare for a bedside commode?

A10. You can use the “Supplier Directory” tool on the Medicare website, contact Medicare directly for a list of suppliers, or consult with your healthcare provider or durable medical equipment supplier for recommendations on suppliers who accept Medicare for bedside commodes.