Our feet do not always get the attention they deserve. Most people follow a daily regimen of bathing, teeth brushing and grooming but do not give due care to their feet. There are certain things you can do to help protect your feet. For instance, you can should examine your feet daily for abrasions, sores, swelling and toenail infections. Wash feet in warm water but avoid soaking and moisturize each day. Refrain from applying moisturizer between toes. Wear comfortable shoes with good arch support, eschewing flip-flops and flats, and rotate shoes rather than wear the same pair every day. Learn how to trim toenails properly to ensure they do not grow into the skin.
However, even with diligence in foot care, the need may arise to see a foot doctor. Medical practitioners that specialize in feet are called podiatrists. When searching for podiatrists, be sure you see DPM after their name, which stands for doctor of podiatric medicine. If you need surgery, look for a podiatric surgeon certified by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery. The following health conditions may put people at higher risk for foot issues: Obesity, arthritis, high cholesterol, poor blood circulation, heart disease and, most especially, diabetes.
Diabetes-related and other foot conditions
Medicare beneficiaries with diabetic peripheral neuropathy and loss of protective sensations are eligible for foot exams every six months but there is a contingency. They can only claim benefits if they have not been seen by a foot specialist for another condition between these six-month visits. Examples of other conditions where Medicare benefits may apply are hammer toe, bunion deformities and heel spurs.
Medicare Part B for foot care
If feet are a troublesome area for you, then review your Medicare benefits under Medicare Part B. This is the segment of Medicare established to cover such expenses as office visits to your physician as well as outpatient care and durable medical equipment. If you have Original Medicare and are not sure of your Part B enrollment, look at your Medicare insurance card where Medical (Part B) should be displayed beneath Hospital (Part A) with an associated effective date. For covered services, in addition to the Part B deductible, expect an out-of-pocket expense of 20% of the amount approved by Medicare. The annual deductible set for the year 2020 is $198. Additionally, for any hospital outpatient treatment, a copayment would be due to the facility.
Preventive foot care
Original Medicare does not typically cover routine foot care. Foot services considered routine include excising corns and calluses, trimming or clipping nails, and hygiene services, such as washing and soaking feet. Medicare Advantage recipients may want to check with their plan since these plans sometimes offer benefits beyond Original Medicare Part B coverage.