Jousting with Bureaucracy

Joan of Arc / Library of Congress

Joan of Arc / Library of Congress

My physical therapist recommended a certain kind of brace, but my hospital didn’t carry it. In fact, no hospitals in Massachusetts carried it, even though it is popular at hospitals in California. So I bought it directly though the brace company, out of pocket. I sent the receipt to Medicare for reimbursement. (Medicare is the USA’s health plan for seniors and the disabled.) I had gotten an earlier brace reimbursed.

I was denied, saying Medicare doesn’t reimbursed people for out of pocket braces anymore. Note that if I had gotten the new brace from a hospital, it would have been covered. Never mind that in my state there wasn’t a single hospital that carried this brace model. It would have been cheaper to fly to California and gotten it through a hospital there. I appealed. Denied.

Medicare is supposed to be a national program. Guess not.

I called my Congressman and my Senators. They made inquiries. They told me to appeal it to an external body. I did. Still waiting.

Recently, my hospital started carrying the brace.

5 Responses to “Jousting with Bureaucracy”

  1. El Guapo writes:

    GAH! Bureaucracy sucks.
    Any chance of returning the one you bought and getting another from your hospital?

    And go you for pushing.

  2. Linda writes:

    I am about to run into this for my daughters hurt arm. She got the first brace via the dr for last week and it was paid for by insurance. Physio says today it is not a good enough fit so she needs a custom fit one. Only one brace per body part in a two year period. Not our fault the dr made a wrong guess about fitting it.

  3. Chris writes:


  4. Mike writes:

    Wonder what the special brace is.

  5. Triumph | Mindpop. writes:

    […] few years ago, I had a royal bureaucratic mess with Medicare over an expensive brace that they should have paid for. (Medicare is the US […]

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