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Medicare Coverage of Foot Care

By Caring.com Staff

What It Is

Care by a physician, podiatrist, or other Medicare-approved healthcare provider for injury, disease, or other medical conditions affecting the foot, ankle, or lower leg

What's Covered

Medicare Part B covers medically necessary care for treatment of injury, disease, or other medical conditions affecting the foot, ankle, or lower leg. It covers this treatment if provided by a physician (M.D.) or a Medicare-certified podiatrist (doctor of podiatric medicine, or DPM). This can include treatment for chronic conditions, such as bunion deformities and heel or toe spurs. Medicare Part B doesn't cover routine foot care that's not medically necessary.

Foot examinations for people with diabetes and therapeutic shoes and inserts for people with diabetes-related foot conditions are covered differently by Medicare Part B.

If you have a Medicare Part C Medicare Advantage plan: Medicare Part C Medicare Advantage plans, also called Medicare Advantage plans, must cover everything that's included in original Medicare Part A and Part B coverage. But sometimes a Part C plan covers more, with extra services or an expanded amount of coverage. (Co-payments for Part C plans may also be different than those for Part A or Part B.) To find out whether your plan provides extra coverage or requires different co-payments for foot care, contact the plan directly.

What Medicare Pays

Medicare Part B pays 80 percent of the Medicare-approved amount for covered foot care.

Important: Regardless of the rules regarding any particular type of care, in order for Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B, or a Medicare Part C plan to provide coverage, the care must meet two basic requirements:

  • The care must be "medically necessary." This means that it must be ordered or prescribed by a licensed physician or other authorized medical provider, and that Medicare (or a Medicare Part C plan) agrees that the care is necessary and proper. For help getting your care covered, see FAQ: How Can I Increase the Odds That Medicare Will Cover My Medical Service?

  • The care must be performed or delivered by a healthcare provider who participates in Medicare.