If you are caring for a loved one at home, you may need to rent a hospital bed. Here are the ins and outs of hospital bed rentals.
The benefit of a hospital bed is that it adjusts to allow people with limited mobility to more easily get in and out of the bed. The adjustable features include raising and lowering the head and foot of the bed as well as changing the bed’s height. The beds usually have the option to add side rails to keep patients from falling out of bed. The following are the main types of hospital beds:
- Manual. A manual hospital bed is the cheapest type of bed. It adjusts with a hand crank, and requires a certain amount of physical strength to adjust.
- Semi-electric. A semi-electric hospital bed uses electric controls to adjust some components (for example, raising the bed’s head and foot) and a manual crank to adjust other components (for example, the height of the bed).
- Electric. A full electric hospital bed has all electric controls. The patient has the ability to control all the adjustable features with a remote control.
- Special beds. There are also beds that serve special purposes. A bariatric bed is a hospital bed that is specially designed to be sturdier and more comfortable for heavier patients. A low bed is set closer to the floor to prevent falling out of bed. A Trendelenburg bed provides even more adjustable features than a regular hospital bed, including the ability to stand straight up or turn into a chair.
Hospital beds can be rented from medical supply companies and usually cost $200 to $500 a month to rent. There are a variety of ways to pay for rentals, including:
- Insurance. Most private insurance policies cover hospital bed rentals. You will need to check your insurance policy to see how much is covered and under what circumstances. You will likely need a doctor’s prescription in order to get coverage.
- Medicare. Medicare covers durable medical equipment, including hospital beds. Medicare will pay 80 percent of the cost of the bed rental. In order to get coverage, you must be enrolled in Medicare Part B, have a prescription from a Medicare-enrolled physician saying that the bed is medically necessary, and rent the bed from a Medicare-enrolled medical equipment supplier. Medicare will cover hospital beds with variable height functions or electric functions only if deemed medically necessary.
- Veterans benefits. Health benefits from the Veterans Administration also cover medical equipment like hospital beds. Again, a doctor must prescribe the bed as medically necessary.
- Medicaid. If you are eligible for Medicaid home care services, Medicaid may pay for a hospital bed rental. Because Medicaid is a joint federal and state-run program, the rules vary depending on the state.