Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers these items as durable medical equipment:
• Orthotics, as long as you go to a supplier that’s enrolled in Medicare
• Artificial limbs and eyes
• Arm, leg, back, and neck braces
• Orthopedic shoes only when they’re a necessary part of a leg brace
• Therapeutic shoes or inserts for people with diabetes who have severe diabetic foot disease
All people with Medicare are covered.
Your costs in Original Medicare
You pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount. Medicare pays for different kinds of DME in different ways: some equipment may be rented, other equipment may be purchased, and you may choose to rent or buy some equipment.
Medicare will only cover your DME if your doctor or supplier is enrolled in Medicare. If a DME supplier doesn’t accept assignment, Medicare doesn’t limit how much the supplier can charge you. You may also have to pay the entire bill (your share and Medicare’s share) at the time you get the DME.
Competitive Bidding Program
If you live in certain areas of California, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, or Texas, you may be affected by Medicare’s Competitive Bidding Program. In most cases, if you have Original Medicare and get program items in program areas, Medicare will only help pay for these items if they’re provided by contract suppliers. More areas will be added in 2013.