This article was updated on January 4, 2021.
If you have diabetes, visiting a podiatrist may be a regular occurrence for your health. It is important to know what Medicare will cover when it comes to podiatry.
What is podiatry?
Podiatry is a type of care that is given by a physician, podiatrist (foot doctor), or another Medicare-approved healthcare provider. This care is given for injury, disease, or other medical conditions that may be affecting the foot, ankle, or lower leg.
Medicare Part B may cover two-foot exams a year, one every six months, if you have nerve damage that is related to diabetes (also called diabetic foot). Before having an exam for any other type of foot issue, check with your coverage to see if Medicare will cover the costs of the exam.
While Medicare may not cover podiatry services if they are not related to diabetes, it is more likely to cover other specific situations. For example, if you have had all or part of your foot amputated due to an injury, Medicare is likely to cover the cost of services. Medicare will also cover podiatry services when they are used to diagnose or treat a condition, such as hammertoe, heel spur, or bunion. Medicare Advantage plans may require referrals for certain services, like x-rays.
Routine foot care
Medicare does not, however, cover routine foot care typically. Some of the services that Medicare will not cover are removing corns, calluses, or nail trimmings.
Medicare Advantage may offer more coverage for podiatry care than Original Medicare. Since Medicare Advantage is required to have at least the same coverage as Original Medicare, you will have the same coverage for podiatry care, if not more. Some Medicare Advantage plans include additional benefits.
Costs after Medicare
While Medicare covers podiatry care in certain situations, you may still be required to pay some out-of-pocket costs. You will still have to pay the Medicare Part B deductible and an additional 20 percent coinsurance for treatments that have been deemed medically necessary.
For more details on what Medicare will or will not cover for podiatry services, contact your doctor or healthcare provider.