Will Medicare Pay for Protective Underwear?

Urinary incontinence is problematic for many seniors and unfortunately the answer is no, Medicare will not pay for disposable absorbent products (adult diapers) except while you are in the hospital or in a skilled nursing facility or if you have a home health nurse. There are other incontinence supplies which are covered such as catheters, but disposable absorbent products are largely, if not entirely, the financial responsibility of the individual.

 Medicare may not cover your supplies

but the right insurance plan could…

If you are like most and dealing with urinary incontinence yourself, there are some Medicare Advantage plans that could help with these costs.  Some Medicare Advantage plans offer over-the-counter benefits for non=prescription drugs and supplies.  These plans offer you a monthly allowance of supplies to help manage your incontinence or other over-the-counter needs such as vitamins, cough syrup, bandages, heating pads, and other items that are not covered by Medicare or your prescription drug plan. You should talk with a plan representative to determine how the plan covers incontinence supplies.

Click here to have a representative contact you to explain which plans are available in your area.

Check other sources of assistance.

If Medicare is not a possible payer for incontinence supplies and you are left wondering, “How will I pay them?”  Fortunately there are some third parties who might be able to offer you some assistance.

Veterans Administration

The Veterans Administration is one third party that provides help.  While the VA does pay for adult diapers, many veterans advise caution with regards to the quality. Specifically, the standard issued brand of adult diapers is not considered to be of high quality. However if a veteran has a preferred brand such as Attends, Depend, Prevail, Tena or Tranquility it is possible to have those paid for by obtaining a prescription or statement of medical justification that explains the medical reasons for which a particular brand of adult diaper is necessary.


Medicaid for individuals in nursing homes will supply adult diapers and other disposable, absorbent products.  Most Medicaid Waivers, which provide assistance to individuals living at home or in the community, also provides assistance typically under the category of home healthcare supplies.  However, Medicaid Waivers and rules change from state to state and in some states the program may limit the brands or quantities of product available to an individual for a set period of time. Individuals on Medicaid should check with their local Medicaid office. MaineCare covers disposable incontinence products for those who are twenty-one (21) years and older are as follows:

Disposable briefs or “pull ons” are limited to 8 units per day for adults; Disposable personal pads, liners, shields, guards and undergarments are limited to 1 case (of 150) per 36 day period for adults; Large sized disposable underpads are limited to 1 case (of 150) per 36 day period for adults. Disposable non-sterile gloves are limited to 5 boxes (at 100 per box) or 500 gloves per member per 36 day period for adults.

When all opportunities for financial assistance have been exhausted and you must pay out-of-pocket for your supplies, the following may be of help.

Look for adult diaper coupons.

You can search by brand for coupons online at the following site: http://www.needymeds.org/Coupon_keyword.taf?_function=list&id_cat=29

Try using a discount prescription drug card.

Often times medical supplies as well as prescriptions are discounted.  Discount cards can be ordered here absolutely free: http://goo.gl/forms/yZmOvyxPmk

Shop online.

Purchasing in bulk online can reduce the cost by as much as 50%, or even 80% over purchasing in a local pharmacy or grocery store. Furthermore products can be shipped free of charge and in discreet packaging. The lowest prices we found at the time of this writing for adult diapers and other incontinence supplies is from TotalHomeCareSupplies.com.  Amazon.com also had some competitive pricing but there are shipping costs unless you are a prime member.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Keep all receipts because the total cost for adult diapers are tax deductible.

Click here if you would like to have a representative contact you to explain which Medicare Advantage plans offer Over-The-Counter benefits.