Did you know that one-third of older adults have some sort of foot pain or foot-related issue? Overlooking problems with your feet can lead to some serious complications and mobility issues. Foot-related problems can be symptoms of other conditions like diabetes. You can also experience foot-related issues by wearing shoes that don’t fit properly.
Seeing a podiatrist, a doctor that specializes in foot problems, is important if you need foot care. Medicare covers podiatrist exams or treatment under a couple circumstances:
In this article, we’ll discuss the specifics of Medicare coverage for podiatry and what services Medicare can pay for.
A podiatrist is a medical professional who treats health conditions related to the foot, ankle, and sometimes leg. They specialize in podiatry, which is a branch of medicine all about feet and ankles. A podiatrist can:
Seeking advice from a podiatrist can improve your mobility, relieve pain, and address any concerns you have about your feet and ankles.
Medicare covers podiatry if you have diabetes-related complications with your feet, or you need medically necessary treatment for any injuries or foot conditions. These injuries or conditions can include:
Medicare also covers X-rays or exams that are needed to diagnose a foot condition, injury, or condition.
If you have Original Medicare and no Medigap plan, you’ll be responsible for 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for podiatry services, once you’ve met your Part B deductible (which is $240 in 2024). If you have a Medigap plan (also called a Medicare Supplement plan), it will pay for some of your out-of-pocket costs.
Medicare Advantage covers the same services as Original Medicare, but your out-of-pocket costs can vary depending on the specific policy you have. The best way to know how much you’ll pay is to contact your insurance company and medical provider’s billing department. Your provider’s billing department can also help you get any necessary prior authorizations before receiving treatment.
In most cases, Medicare won’t cover routine foot care. This includes grooming services such as:
There are exceptions to this rule in certain medical situations, however. If you need your nails cut for a surgical procedure, for treating warts on your foot, or for treating an infected toenail, Medicare won’t charge you. Otherwise, you’ll need to cover 100% of a routine foot service.
If you have foot issues that affect your mobility, you can also use mobility devices to get help moving around. Medicare covers mobility devices like canes, walkers, and wheelchairs when they are medically necessary. Talk to your healthcare provider to see what all your options are for treating mobility issues and making movement easier.