Exclusions from Foot Care Coverage

Certain foot care related services are not generally covered by Medicare. In general, the following services, whether performed by a podiatrist, osteopath, or doctor of medicine, and without regard to the difficulty or complexity of the procedure, are not covered by Medicare:

  1. Treatment of Flat Foot
    • The term "flat foot" is defined as a condition in which one or more arches of the foot have flattened out. Services or devices directed toward the care or correction of such conditions, including the prescription of supportive devices, are not covered.
  2. Routine Foot Care
    Except as discussed below in the section entitled "Conditions that Might Justify Coverage", routine foot care is excluded from coverage. Services that normally are considered routine and not covered by Medicare include the following:
    • The cutting or removal of corns and calluses;
    • The trimming, cutting, clipping, or debriding of nails; and
    • Other hygienic and preventive maintenance care, such as cleaning and soaking the feet, the use of skin creams to maintain skin tone of either ambulatory or bedfast patients, and any other service performed in the absence of localized illness, injury, or symptoms involving the foot.
  3. Supportive Devices for Feet
    • Orthopedic shoes and other supportive devices for the feet generally are not covered, except Medicare does cover such a shoe if it is an integral part of a leg brace, and its expense is included as part of the cost of the brace. Also, a narrow exception permits coverage of special shoes and inserts for certain patients with diabetes.


Last Updated Oct 31 , 2022