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Does Medicare Cover Orthopedic Braces?

  • Medicare with Melissa

Orthopedic braces provide targeted support to joints and muscles aiding in the stabilization of an injured area, which helps to facilitate proper healing. They can also improve mobility and functionality, reduce pain, and help prevent further injury. Medicare Part B covers various types of orthopedic braces including back, neck, shoulder, knee, foot, ankle, and wrist braces. Keep reading to discover Medicare’s policy on orthopedic braces, specific requirements to qualify for coverage and potential out-of-pocket costs you might incur.

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Medicare Coverage Requirements

Before diving into specific types of orthopedic braces, let’s talk about Medicare’s general requirements. First and foremost, Medicare Part B is the specific part of Medicare that covers durable medical equipment (DME), including orthopedic braces.

To qualify for coverage, the orthopedic brace must be medically necessary and prescribed by a doctor who is enrolled in Medicare. It must also be durable, serve a medical purpose, and be suitable for use in the home. Additionally, you need to purchase or rent your orthopedic brace from a Medicare approved supplier.

It’s important to note that Medicare will cover 80% of the Medicare approved amount if you meet the necessary requirements. After paying your Medicare Part B deductible, you’ll be responsible for the remaining 20% coinsurance payment.

Does Medicare Cover Back Braces?

Medicare does cover back braces. A back brace, also known as a lumbosacral orthosis (LSO), can provide support for the spine during recovery from surgery or an injury. Back braces are frequently used for managing various conditions, including compression fractures, acute and chronic pain, as well as aiding in post-surgical recovery.

A back brace can provide essential structural support to your back, lessening the stress on your spine and aiding in the healing process. In the case of compression fractures, a back brace can be instrumental in supporting the affected area and preventing further damage. If you’re dealing with acute or chronic pain, a back brace can significantly mitigate discomfort, enabling you to go about your daily activities with greater ease. It can also help stabilize your back post-surgery, allowing for a smoother and quicker recovery.

Does Medicare Cover Neck Braces?

Medicare does provide coverage for neck braces, also commonly referred to as cervical collars. This means you can take advantage of Medicare’s benefits to financially assist you in obtaining one if prescribed by a doctor. These braces are usually prescribed for conditions like neck injuries, whiplash, or surgical recovery.

The use of a neck brace or cervical collar offers several key benefits, particularly if you’re dealing with neck-related issues. One of the most significant advantages is the support it provides to your cervical spine. This can be particularly important after a neck injury or surgery, as it helps in stabilizing the neck area and promoting faster healing. Additionally, a neck brace can help alleviate pain by restricting certain movements that might otherwise exacerbate your condition.

Does Medicare Cover Shoulder Braces?

Medicare does offer coverage for shoulder braces, encompassing a wide range of supportive devices like cradles, supports, and stabilizers. This is good news if you’re dealing with any kind of shoulder issue that may require added support.

Using a shoulder brace comes with a host of benefits, especially if you’re managing acute or chronic shoulder pain, have undergone shoulder surgery, or are dealing with other shoulder-related conditions. Firstly, a shoulder brace can provide critical support to your shoulder joint, helping to alleviate stress and strain on the area. This is particularly useful for post-operative recovery, as it ensures that your shoulder remains in a stable position, thereby accelerating the healing process.

Furthermore, the support provided by a shoulder brace can help reduce pain, making it easier for you to carry out daily activities. If you’re dealing with ongoing issues, like rotator cuff injuries, a shoulder brace can offer long-term support, potentially improving your range of motion and quality of life.

Does Medicare Cover Knee Braces?

Medicare provides coverage for knee braces, as long as your doctor deems it medically necessary for your condition. The types of knee braces covered by Medicare include Functional, Rehabilitative, Unloader or Off-loader, and Prophylactic braces. Each type serves a different purpose, catering to specific needs and conditions.

Functional braces are ideal for individuals with an existing knee injury. They offer significant support to the knee joint, helping to stabilize it and potentially quicken the healing process. By providing this support, functional braces also aim to minimize pain, allowing for improved mobility.

Rehabilitative braces are generally used post-surgery to restrict knee movement, ensuring that the healing process is not disrupted. By limiting the range of motion, these braces contribute to a safer, more effective recovery period, helping you get back on your feet faster.

Unloader or Off-loader Braces are mainly recommended for arthritis patients, these braces work by shifting weight away from the affected knee joint. This can result in a notable reduction in pain and could improve your ability to move and perform daily activities.

Prophylactic braces are designed to prevent knee injuries, commonly used during high-impact sports activities. By providing extra support to the knee joint, these braces can minimize the risk of injuries like sprains or ligament tears, allowing you to engage in physical activities with a greater sense of security.

Does Medicare Cover Foot Braces?

Medicare does offer coverage for foot braces, whether you require one for a foot or ankle injury. The key factor in obtaining coverage is having your doctor document that the use of a foot brace is medically necessary for your condition. Medicare covers both custom-made and standard foot braces, so you have options depending on your specific needs.

Using a foot brace provides several advantages, particularly if you’re dealing with an injury or chronic condition. For starters, a foot brace can offer much-needed support to the affected area, reducing strain and helping to accelerate healing. The brace can also aid in stabilization, ensuring that your foot or ankle maintains an optimal position, which is crucial for effective recovery. In some cases, foot braces can even alleviate pain, making daily activities more manageable.

Does Medicare Cover Ankle Braces?

Medicare does provide coverage for ankle braces, extending its benefits to a range of supportive devices. This includes not just the ankle braces themselves, but also additional components like straps, guards, stays, stabilizers, and even heel cushions.

Ankle braces offer numerous advantages, especially if you have acute or chronic ankle or foot pain. They provide targeted support to the ankle joint, reducing the likelihood of further injury and promoting quicker healing. Stabilizers within the brace can keep the ankle in an optimal position, critical for effective treatment and recovery. If you’re dealing with chronic conditions like ankle instability or osteoarthritis, an ankle brace can offer the added benefit of pain relief and improved mobility.

Does Medicare Cover Wrist Braces?

Medicare does cover wrist braces as they are categorized under Durable Medical Equipment (DME). This coverage extends to a wide array of wrist support options, including not only wrist braces but also wrist supports and stabilizers.

Wrist braces can be incredibly beneficial, especially if you suffer from conditions like tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome. One of the primary advantages of a wrist brace is the targeted support it offers, minimizing strain on your wrist and giving the affected area a chance to heal. Additionally, wrist braces often include stabilizing elements that maintain the wrist in an optimal, ergonomic position, which is important for faster recovery and pain alleviation.


Medicare does offer coverage for a variety of orthopedic braces under Part B, but there are specific conditions that must be met. Always ensure that you have a prescription from a doctor who is enrolled in Medicare and purchase your brace from a Medicare approved supplier. Additionally, it’s crucial that your orthopedic brace satisfies all of Medicare’s DME requirements to ensure eligibility for coverage. By following these rules, you can minimize the risk of incurring unnecessary expenses and make the most of your Medicare benefits.

If you have any questions about Medicare coverage for orthopedic braces, please give us a call at 866-MEDIGAP (866-633-4427). Our team of Medicare experts are ready to assist you in understanding your Medicare options and benefits, so you get the most out of your healthcare coverage. Whether you’re new to Medicare or have been a beneficiary for years, we’re here to provide the information and guidance you need. Don’t hesitate to reach out for personalized advice tailored to your unique healthcare needs.

Meet Melissa MacCalla

Medicare is not simple and can be hard, frustrating, and downright confusing for most. I love when I get someone on the phone and I am given the opportunity to explain the difference in plans to them and have Medicare make sense. I enjoy talking to clients year after year, hearing about their families growing or them asking about mine.


Oh my gosh!! I was so confused about the Medicare Supplement process. I am turning 65 soon and am retired and have always had insurance thru my former employer. I didn’t know a thing about going on Medicare and was struggling to sort it all out.

A friend of mine recommended contacting Senior HealthCare Solutions, so I did. Melissa was FANTASTIC!! She was professional, responsive, caring and friendly. She explained the steps I needed to take, gathered my information, helped me choose good plans for MY specific needs and took care of my applications over the phone. 1-2-3, eesy-peesy and I was done!! And it didn’t cost me a DIME!!! WOW!!! I HIGHLY recommend Senior Healthcare Solutions for anyone who’s overwhelmed with making the right choices with Medicare Supplemental Insurance and Rx coverage. It’ll take a load off your mind!

Janice W.

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