One of the most common questions diabetics have in regards to buying the best diabetic shoes possible is whether Medicare covers the cost of the shoes or not. Usually diabetic shoes are more expensive than traditional non-medical shoes and because diabetics have to wear the proper shoes to perform proper diabetic foot care then it is natural to expect Medicare to cover these items.
Medicare does indeed cover diabetic shoes however as a patient with diabetes you have to show that you actually have a need for them. Just because you have diabetes doesn’t mean you need them quite yet.
People with early stages of diabetes usually do not experience the problems of neuropathy of the foot or poor foot circulation. These conditions develop over time and as the result of poor glucose management. Essentially a diabetic that carefully manages their blood sugar levels can often times go years or decades without experiencing the foot complications that require special shoes.
Usually simply wearing good diabetic friendly walking shoes such as those found in most any athletic shoe store is all you need to stay active and always wearing protective shoes for your feet or diabetic slippers in the home in addition to seamless diabetic socks is all you need to protect your feet.
Diabetic Shoes And Medicare
For those however who have serious or advanced cases of diabetes and who can show a need for special deep depth shoes or extra wide shoes Medicare will cover the tab.
Another factor you need to overcome in getting Medicare to cover the cost of your diabetic shoes is that you need to show that the diabetic shoes you are buying offer reasonable protection to your feet above and beyond that of traditional shoes. This is usually easy if you require large therapeutic shoe inserts or molded shoes to accommodate foot deformities due to diabetic foot ulcerations and bone realignment resulting from fractures over time.
Step 1 – If you need diabetic shoes and want Medicare to cover the cost you will need to have your doctor complete a certificate of medical necessity and record the prescription in your medial records. The doctor is the best guide as to whether diabetic shoes are actually required for your feet and this will help greatly in appealing Medicare for financial assistance. You won’t actually be buying any diabetic shoes until this is done at least.
Step 2 – One your general healthcare provider notes that you need diabetic shoes then you have to see a podiatrist to actually get the prescription. Alternatives to a Podiatrist include orthotists, prosthetists, pedorthists. The prescription is then sent to the shoe retailers or supplier for order fulfillment.
Step 3 – When your podiatrist provides your prescription and you provide it to the supplier they must receive the shoe order before they can bill Medicare. You may also have to follow additional steps which are specific to your Medicare Advantage Plan if that applies to you. These HMO and PPO plans may require you to get approval by calling their customer service desks and going through their specific processes.
Buying Diabetic Shoes? – Here Are A Few Things to Keep In Mind
A lot of people go through this process on a regular basis because Medicare covers the purchases of a pair of shoes on an annual basis (with restrictions). They also cover custom inserts and molded shoes with other stipulations which can be dealt with on a case-by-case basis – you have some options.
If you don’t care to deal with the hassle of the doctor’s visits and the Medicare paperwork you can always buy shoes designed for diabetics from some of the most respected shoe manufacturers in the industry. Orthofeet is one such company which provides excellent diabetic shoes for reasonable prices… especially if you buy them online.
Amazon is one of the best places I’ve found to compare shoes, styles, and prices so make sure to check out their inventory of Orthofeet diabetic shoes. You can also try browsing through the selections of Propet Shoes, P.W. Minor, and Drew Shoes, all of which sell excellent diabetic shoes in a wide variety of styles. You can also see this post here on site where I outline some of the most popular Propet diabetic shoes.
For more on the Medicare rules for diabetic shoes visit the Medicare website at http://www.medicare.gov/.