For those with diabetes, special shoes can offer much needed help with foot pain, circulation and more. The costs of these diabetic shoes can add up so it’s natural to try to get insurance to cover them.
This leads to the question many have which is “does Medicare cover diabetic shoes?” Below we answer this question, look at the costs of diabetic shoes as well as some other helpful info.
Does Medicare Cover Diabetic Shoes?
Yes, Medicare covers diabetic shoes. Original Medicare will cover the fitting and furnishing of diabetic shoes as well as the inserts.
To be more precise, Medicare covers one pair of custom-fitted shoes and inserts, as well as one pair of extra depth-shoes. Additionally, Medicare will also pay for two additional pairs of inserts for custom-molded shoes and three pairs of inserts for extra depth-shoes each calendar year.
Being a part of Original Medicare, insurance will pay for 80% of the cost. You will have to pay the remaining 20%. Though if you have a Medicare supplement plan or Medigap, that might cover some or all of that 20%.
All that said, there are certain conditions that you’ll need to meet for Medicare to pay for your diabetic shoes.
First you will need to go to your doctor or specialist and get a prescription from them. The specialists to go to include podiatrists, prosthetists, orthotists, and pedorthists. This doctor has to be Medicare-approved.
After getting a prescription from your doctor or specialist, you need to buy your shoes from a Medicare approved supplier. You can find an approved supplier by checking out Medicare.gov.
Alternatively, you can find and purchase these shoes from your local shoe center. You just have to make sure they are Medicare-approved.
If your suppliers are participating suppliers, they are obliged to accept assignment. However, if they are not participating suppliers, they may choose not to accept assignment; meaning, there is no limit on the amount they can charge you.
How Much Do Therapeutic Shoes Cost?
Diabetic shoes average about $145. On the low end you can find them for around $75 and they can sell for around $175 or more on the high end.
About Diabetic Shoes
Diabetic shoes, also known as therapeutic shoes, have a lot to offer to people who are at risk of having diabetes or are already suffering from the condition. People with diabetes are at risk or prone to having foot injuries, ulceration, infections, and even amputation.
Usually, diabetic shoes are custom fit to your feet. The customization can include extra padding, inlays, and specialized inserts. These shoes offer a number of benefits to those with diabetes.
They increase the comfort of the person wearing the shoes. They do this in a number of ways including absorbing pressure and reducing tension. This provides pain relief making it easier to stand and walk.
They also promote good blood circulation, where regular shoes tend to restrict circulation.
Diabetic shoes are also generally more comfortable and prevent calluses and skin breakdown.
Note: Medicare coverage changes all the time. And your specific coverage may vary from plan to plan for Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans. Always be sure to double check with your health care provider and/or Medicare insurance provider about what your plan covers and what it does not.
Additional Info on Medicare Coverage
This article is part of our series on “What does Medicare cover?”
Also, you can check out other articles in this series including: Does Medicare cover Life Flight?