Will Medicare Pay for a Hot Tub?
Don’t let your aches and pains get you down.
It could be the right time to ask your doctor for a prescription for a portable, inflatable hot tub.
These dandy devices provide soothing relief for a myriad of common (and not-so-common) ailments associated with aging such as:
- Back pain
- Hip pain
- Knee or joint pain
- Severe arthritis pain
- Poor circulation
- Type II diabetes
- Stroke recovery
- Traumatic brain injury
- And many other conditions.
And Medicare may even pay for it.
It never hurts to ask!
Of course, you should be prepared to show evidence of your condition or injury, such a X-rays, MRIs, or other proof.
And, your doctor should state precisely why he or she feels it is medically necessary for you to have the benefits of a soothing spa treatment in your own back yard.
This letter should include:
- why a hot tub would be of therapeutic value
- why the tub would be a benefit to your condition or injury, and
- what they expect the treatment to accomplish
You should also know that Medicare — or any insurance provider — will likely only provide funding for a one-person tub.
However, here’s a list of five portable, inflatable hot tubs that will easily accommodate you and up to three others.
And all for significantly under $500.
Check your Medicare Part B or Supplemental policy to see if hot tubs are specifically NOT covered before you go to the trouble of filing a claim.
But, even if they don’t, the expense for a portable, inflatable hot tub is tax deductible as a medical expense (provided you hold onto the prescription and the receipt).
So is the electricity that powers it (although this could get tricky — check with your CPA).
Ready to go shopping for a hot tub?
Choosing the Best Inflatable Hot Tub
There are several important things to keep in mind when making your decision:
- Construction. You need to make sure your hot tub is built to last more than one season. There’s no real way to know this ahead of time, but as a general rule of thumb, the hot tubs with interior reinforced construction seem to hold up best.
- Price. Most of the options on this page are under $500. Still, that’s a sizeable investment. However, even the cheaper hot tubs (such as the Coleman series) seem to hold up well and justify the cost.
- Warranty. Check out the warranty provided by each manufacturer before you buy. This will adjust your expectations and should furnish you with a customer service contact if you need new parts or — worst case — a replacement hot tub. Some of the links below offer warranty info. Some give only contact info.
The role of the jets:
- Jets. Again, just so you won’t be disappointed when you climb into your hot tub for the first time, pay attention to how many jets your hot tub comes equipped with. Generally, four-person hot tubs have 120 jets, while the larger six-person tubs have 140. And please understand that they produce a powerful stream of bubbles, not real jets of water, as you might be used to in the big commercial hot tubs.
- Covers. When you are making your election, try to make sure it comes with a suitable cover. If not, you’ll need to buy one separately. All of the hot tubs on this page come equipped with a cover. They are important in order to keep heat in from day to day and in order to keep things like falling leaves out.
- Cleaning. This is an important daily or weekly task. Try to ascertain how often the filters might need to be changed and what kind of chemicals you’ll need to keep the water nice and sparkling. Some of the hot tubs on this page come with chemicals. Some do not and must be purchased separately. If in doubt, scroll down and read the fine print and specs on the Amazon product page. Or contact the manufacturer. In most cases, a simple trip to your local pool supply store will get you what you need, no matter what brand you might have.
Portable Hot Tub Advantages
- Traveling to the beach or to the mountains — or to spend a week with relatives? It’s a great advantage to be able to take along your own portable, inflatable unit. They set up literally in minutes, though it may take up to 24 hours for them to heat up.
- Cleaning a portable, inflatable hot tub is a snap compare to the large, in-ground or other fixed models. All the hot tubs featured on this page only need to be cleaned every two weeks or so, and, typically, the filters only need to be changed out every six months or so. They do, however, need to be checked weekly to remove leaves or other debris.
- You only need a regular, 110-volt AC outlet to run your inflatable hot tub. In some cases, however, the additional load on a circuit might cause breakers to keep tripping. In this case, either run a heavy-duty extension cord to another outlet, or have an electrician upgrade the circuit.
- Digging up the yard won’t be needed if you buy a portable, inflatable hot tub. You’ll just need a piece of flat ground (if you set it up outside) or a sturdy wood or concrete deck. Some folks put it in their basements for year-round enjoyment.
- Inflatable hot tubs are much less expensive than their fixed or in-ground counterparts. And, when you’re relaxing in yours under the stars with a cool glass of wine in your hand, you won’t know the difference — except your bank account won’t be depleted.
Maintenance of an Inflatable Hot Tub
- Regular, attentive maintenance should keep your hot tub in tip-top shape. There are just a few simple rules to remember:
- Make sure that leaves and other stuff don’t collect in the hot tub or in the filters. If you have a cover, of course — and you remember to put it on each time after using the hot tub — this won’t be much of an issue for you. However, it’s still important to check for debris regularly.
- Replacing the water every two weeks or so will extend the life of the hot tub and make your experience more enjoyable (and more sanitary) overall. Just be sure to allow for the time needed to drain the hot tub, refill it, and bring it back up to the most comfortable setting (usually 104 degrees).
- When the tub is empty, you should take the time to clean it, using a soft cloth and a mild, non-abrasive cleaner. Again, your manufacturer or your local pool supplies store should have just what you need. Or, regular dishwashing soap should be fine.
- Again, you should pay scrupulous attention to your filters, cleaning them every week and replacing them every six months. This will extend the useful life of your hot tub and provide for a much cleaner hot tub day to day.
Inflatable Hot Tub Q&A
First Question. When should I clean my hot tub, and how often should I do it?
Answer. Use common sense. Every ten days or two weeks should be just about the right interval between cleanings. And this would coincide with your emptying and refilling your hot tub with clean water. Really, you could easily get by with refilling it only once a month, but this is mostly personal preference and how often you use the hot tub.
Second Question. How full should I fill my hot tub?
Answer. Your hot tub should come with instructions on just how much water you put in. But, again, use common sense. Ideally, it should be just around shoulder height, But pay special attention to the location of the water jets. If they’re around the upper rim of the tub, fill just above these jets (about and inch and a half above should be fine).
Final Question. How about the filter cartridges? How often should I clean them?
Answer. About once a week should be fine. Remember that the filters do most of the work in keeping your hot tub nice and clean. They are designed to trap dirt, body film and other stuff that might be floating around in your hot tub. To clean them, simply place them in a five-gallon bucket of pool or hot tub cleaner and leave them there for a day or so. Then, run some water over them and reinsert them.
What are the best reasons for buying an inflatable hot tub?
Why should I purchase an inflatable hot tub?
As we’ve said repeatedly, slipping into your own hot tub, only steps away from your back door, is a great way to melt the day’s cares away.
The two most obvious advantages to owning an inflatable spa — as opposed to a more permanent one — are (1) cost and (2) portability.
Really, one of the best things about an inflatable spa (aside from the lower costs) is the ability to pack it up and take it on an extended vacation.
You can take it to the mountains, to the beach — even Aunt Sally’s for a month.
They don’t take up much room, either, They’re perfect for that little corner on the deck or the patio.
A few other key points:
Some folks like to put them in a basement for year-round use in all kinds of weather.
And, when it comes time at the end of the season to drain it, deflate it, and pack it away, they take up about as much room as a large suitcase or a trunk.
Try storing a permanently installed hot tub. You can’t do it. If the weather’s bad, you can’t use it.
On the other hand, if your portable hot tub is sitting under a covered patio, you’re good to go.
And, don’t forget how popular you’ll be when you show up at the beach house you’ve rented with several of your closest friends.
Just set it up, wait while it fills with water and heats up, and jump right in.
Now to the issue of cost. Would you pay a dollar a day for the sensuous experience of settling into your own personal spa each night?
Of course you would.
With traditional spas, however, it can take years to recover the initial investment.
And maintenance on the two is really about the same in the long run.
Inflatable hot tubs are more durable and longer-lasting than they’ve ever been. And, there’s no good reason not to give in and buy one.
Be it for two people, four people or the roomy ones that fit in up to six friends, the time to buy a portable, inflatable hot tub has never been better.
Go for it. You’ll be glad you did!
A few final things to keep in mind:
Remember. All customer experiences are unique. But please understand three things:
- No inflatable hot tub is going to last more than two or three seasons. That’s the tradeoff you get for the relatively low cost. Is it worth it? We think so.
- Average cost of $450 divided by an average of 20 soothing experiences per month is less than $1.88 per experience.
- Some of these hot tubs are relatively small. Keep your own height in mind when deciding on a particular brand or model.
- Some manufacturers seem to be more responsive than others. You should read all the reviews before making a final decision. Again, Coleman seemed to rank first in customer satisfaction, Intex second, and MSpa third.
We feel fairly certain that this list of inflatable hot tubs is the best on the market today. Other reviewers may try to steer you toward a particular brand.
But we also feel you are intelligent enough to make up your own mind.
The bottom line? The ROI is well worth it
Any of these inflatable hot tubs will provide a superior soak after a long day on the road or at the office — or after keeping up with kids from dawn to dusk.
Get a tall, cold glass of your favorite wine and slide down into the bath-warm waters.
Ahhhh. Now, that’s why you made this investment……
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