Alert
Close

Help hungry seniors. Deliver help and hope before Thanksgiving. Donate

HIGHLIGHTS

Open

AARP VETERAN MEMBERSHIP

Military and Veterans Discount

CONTESTS AND SWEEPS

AARP REALPAD

Introducing RealPad by AARP

AUTO BUYING PROGRAM

AARP Auto Buying Program

DRIVER SAFETY

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

Download the ipad App

AARP-iPad-ePub-app

KEEP BRAIN ACTIVE!

AARP Games - Play Now!

AARP Books

Medicare for Dummies book cover

Get the answers you need, from Patricia Barry, AARP's Ask Ms. Medicare

Most Popular

Viewed

share your Thoughts

Reader stories help us fine-tune our education efforts and strengthen our calls for action on issues that matter most to you. We read and learn from every story and may use yours (with permission) to brief legislators, inspire other readers and more. Please share your story with us. Do

Ask Ms. Medicare

Medicare Coverage for Toenail Clipping

Q. I go to a podiatrist to have my toenails clipped. As I’m diabetic, shouldn’t Medicare cover the cost?

A. Maybe, but it depends on the circumstances. Medicare doesn’t normally cover nail clipping or any kind of routine foot care. You’re correct that diabetes mellitus is one of the medical conditions that may justify coverage—but only if:

* A doctor has been treating you for diabetes in the six months before the nail clipping;

AND

* You have a complication of diabetes that is either limiting your ability to walk or is affecting your feet adversely—for example, loss of sensation, muscle pain, swellings, ulcers, mycosis (fungal infection) of the toenails, etc.; or

* You have a condition related to your diabetes affecting your feet that would make it unsafe for anyone except a podiatrist or other health professional to clip your nails.

These coverage rules also apply to foot problems that result from other medical conditions besides diabetes, including cancer, multiple sclerosis, chronic kidney disease, malnutrition and inflammation of the veins related to blood clots.

The bottom line: To get Medicare coverage for foot care, you need your doctor or podiatrist to provide evidence as to why it is medically necessary.

Patricia Barry is a senior editor at the AARP Bulletin.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Membership Discount Benefit Pet Plan Dog

Members save 10% or more on Petplan pet insurance premiums.

Senior couple working on laptop. Medicare open enrollment. (David Jakle/Corbis)

Medicare Open Enrollment Period Ends Dec. 7 ─ AARP® Medicare Plans from UnitedHealthcare.

Grandson (8-9) whispering to grandfather, close-up

Members can save 20% on hearing aids with the AARP® Hearing Care Program provided by HearUSA.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points