back braces - older woman with back pain

Beware of Offers for “Free” Braces Covered by Medicare

Guard your Medicare card

Watch out for scammers broadcasting TV commercials or calling you by phone to offer “free or low cost” knee, back and other orthotic braces. This is a scam!

If you give them your Medicare number, you could end up with boxes of unwanted and unneeded braces, a compromised Medicare number, and potentially denied Medicare claims if you require such braces in the future – yikes!

Medicare only pays for durable medical equipment based on medical necessity — meaning it’s an item you really need for your medical condition – and requires prescription from your doctor, not a doctor you’ve never met, or a doctor on TV.

If you come across a scam, call California Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) at 1-855-613-7080. We’ve got your back!


  • If you receive a call from someone offering you a “free” brace covered by Medicare, hang up immediately.
  • If medical equipment is delivered to you, don’t accept it unless it was ordered by your physician. Refuse the delivery or return it to the sender. Keep a record of the sender’s name and the date you returned the items.
  • Be suspicious of anyone who offers you free medical equipment and then requests your Medicare number. If your personal information is compromised, it may be used in other fraud schemes.
  • Only your doctor should prescribe and/or approve any requests for durable medical equipment.
  • Be cautious of unsolicited requests for your Medicare number. Do not give your Medicare information to anyone you don’t know.

You can also download our free fraud alert on back brace scams, available in 9 languages (scroll down the page to find all languages).