18 – Aids and Nursing Care Products

Fact sheet no. 18

Aids are objects which compensate for physical impairments. There is a difference between aids and nursing care products.

The cost for aids is covered in full or in part by the health insurance fund in order to support a medical treatment, alleviate complaints or counteract a disability.

Nursing care products are used to support care, alleviate complaints and enable patients to live independently, and are financed in full or in part by the nursing care fund.


They can be divided into the following groups:

  • Medical technical aids, e.g. inhaler, oxygen concentrators
  • Communication aids such as aids for vision, hearing, speech
  • Orthopaedic aids, e.g. wheelchairs
  • Incontinence aids, e.g. incontinence pads
  • Aids for decubitus, e.g. antidecubitus mattresses, seat cushion
  • Mobility aids, e.g. walker, transfer board, ramp

How can I apply for the right aid?

A GP or a specialist may issue a prescription for an aid.
As of 2017, a medical prescription is not necessary if, as part of their review on the need for long-term care, the expert from the health insurance (MDK) recommends an aid.

The aids are issued according to height, individual handicap and environment. It is advisable to get information in advance.


The medical insurance covers the cost for prescribed aids. For some aids, the medical insurance company has agreed on set prices. Should the requested aid exceed this price, you must cover the difference in cost yourself.

Insured persons 18 years of age and older generally have to pay 10% of the cost of aids, min. 5.00 EUR and max. 10.00 EUR, however this is not to exceed the actual cost of the aid. In the case of orthopaedic footwear, a consumable wear co-payment applies.

Nursing care products

Included in nursing care products are:

  • Technical care products, e.g. lifter, nursing bed, home emergency-call system
  • Bathing products, e.g. shower stool, bathtub lifter
  • Positioning aids, e.g. bed wedge
  • Mobility aids, e.g. turning and re-seating aids, lifter
  • Consumables of certain aids –“ see information sheet no. 17

How can I apply for the necessary nursing care products?

Nursing care products are intended for use only for home nursing care and can be prescribed by the GP or specialist. The condition for receiving nursing care products is the nursing care insurance provider–™s assessment of the need for care (see information sheet no. 2). As of 2017, the MDK expert may recommend an aid or nursing care product in the expert opinion on the need for care, in which case a medical prescription is not necessary. It may be necessary to ask the nursing care fund whether an informal application instead of a prescription is sufficient.


If a person has been designated a need for care, the care fund covers the nursing care products required for care.
For technical nursing care products, care recipients 18 years of age or older must usually pay for 10% of the cost, or at most 25 Euro. Get thorough advice for the nursing products. Should the nursing care fund or health insurance not cover the cost, or if a care level has not yet been determined, technical nursing aids can be rented for a fee from medical supply shops.