Medicare pays for therapeutic shoes for any Medicare-covered person who has diabetes and severe diabetic foot disease. A qualified doctor, such as a podiatrist or orthotist, must first certify the need for diabetic shoes or inserts.
Medicare Part B covers the cost of one pair of diabetic therapeutic shoes, including fitting, per calendar year. Medicare classifies such shoes as durable medical equipment, or DME, with modifications also covered in lieu of inserts. Medicare only covers DME if the person's doctors and DME suppliers are enrolled in Medicare. If the suppliers are enrolled, they must accept the assignment of the DME, with only 20 percent of the Medicare-approved cost paid by the patient.