Medicare Beneficiaries Beware “Free” Braces

Several reports have been noted of Medicare beneficiaries receiving urgently marked postcards with a special notice of pending eligibility to receive free Medicare-covered back brace or knee support system.

If you are experiencing any pain and need a brace for pain relief,  speak with your doctor first. Do not respond to these mailers.  

Medicare only covers braces and other durable medical equipment  that is medically necessary with a doctor’s prescription. Scammers, however, hope beneficiaries don’t know that. They just want the Medicare number to bill Medicare for equipment that has never been received, or to bill Medicare for much more expensive equipment than what is expected to be received. There have been cases where the Medicare beneficiary must pay a $200 bill. Protect yourself and guard your Medicare card.

If you or someone you know comes across such scams, you can speak with a state-registered Health Insurance Counselor. Materials for individuals speaking a language other than English are available at

Call the Sourcewise Health Insurance Counseling & AdvocacyProgram at (408) 350-3200, option 2, or the Senior Medicare Patrol at 1(855) 613-7070.

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