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does medicare cover podiatry visits

Does Medicare Cover Podiatry Visits?

If you are having problems with your foot or legs, you may be thinking about visiting a podiatrist. After all, that is what they specialize in!

Insurance companies usually cover the costs of the clinic or hospital visits. But what about Medicare? In fact, a common question those with Medicare have is, “Does Medicare cover podiatry visits?”

In this article, we answer that question in clear, plain English. You will also find the average costs of podiatry visits, as well as other helpful info.

Does Medicare Cover Podiatry Visits?

The short answer is yes; Medicare may cover the cost of podiatry visits. But not 100% of the time. As is often the case with Medicare, certain conditions have to be met in order for Medicare to pay for your podiatry visits. Below we look at what these are so you know what to expect.

Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) will provide coverage for podiatric care. However, Medicare will only cover podiatry care if you go to a Medicare-approved facility.

If hospitalization is necessary, Medicare Part A will provide coverage for hospital visits or any inpatient services.

Medicare Part B will cover any outpatient setting visits for podiatric care. However, for Part B to cover podiatry services, it must be considered medically necessary and is ordered by your healthcare provider.

Part B covers podiatrist foot exams and treatment if you suffer from diabetes-related nerve damage to your foot. They also provide coverage for the treatment of several foot conditions and diseases like bunion deformities.

Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) also provide coverage for podiatry visits. They cover everything Original Medicare covers along with some additional benefits.

If you have a Medicare Advantage plan (or are shopping around for one), then contact your plan provider to find out exactly what podiatry services they cover.

How Much Does Podiatry Visits Costs?

Consultation with a Podiatrist may cost between $60 to $400. The costs of a consultation with a podiatrist will differ depending on a number of factors. Three key factors are the treatment you’re looking for, how experienced the podiatrist is and where in the country you live.  

What Is A Podiatrist?

A podiatrist is a medical expert or doctor specializing in treating conditions and diseases that affect the feet and lower legs. They also treat diabetic-related foot conditions as well as injuries in the legs and feet.

Though they are considered doctors, they do not go to traditional medical schools. That is because there is a separate field of study for podiatrists. They study in a podiatry school for four years.

After they graduate, they spend three years working in a hospital. Working in a hospital is called “residency.” There they put what they learned in their four years of study to use.

During residency, they work with several professional doctors, including surgeons, pediatricians, etc. After residency, they get advanced certifications in surgery on the foot and ankle.

Podiatrists can perform surgeries, prescribe medicine, and order lab tests and X-rays. Some of the conditions, injuries, and diseases podiatrists treat include:

  • Fractures and sprains
  • Bunions and hammertoes
  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Ankle or foot pain
  • Unwanted odor
  • Athlete’s foot
  • Injuries sustained from sport activities
  • Flat foot

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 CPAP masks?

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