Medicare Diabetic Program

Medicare will cover the cost of one pair of therapeutic shoes (diabetic shoes) and inserts for people with diabetes if you have a medical need for them. The Medicare payment for therapeutic shoes is subject to the requirement that they are necessary and reasonable for protection of insensitive feet or neuropathy (nerve damage in the feet).

To ensure that Medicare pays for your shoes, you must follow the steps below:

  1. Your treating doctor must complete a certificate of medical necessity for the therapeutic shoes and document the need in your medical records.
  2. The shoes and inserts must be prescribed by a podiatrist or other qualified doctor and provided by a podiatrist, orthotist, prosthetist, or pedorthist.
  3. The supplier must receive the order before Medicare is billed and must keep it on file.
  4. If you receive your Medicare through a Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO) it is likely you will have to follow the plan's steps for approval and purchase. Make a point of calling your plan's customer service number and ask about their steps for coverage of diabetic shoes.