I Can’t Hear You! Will Medicare Pay For Hearing Aids?

Cant Hear you Medicade

Did you know that the average cost of hearing aids can range from as low as $1200 for “budget” devices and they can be as expensive as $3500+ for higher end devices. When you consider that most people who’ll need hearing aids will require two, a person could expect to pay $3000 upward to $7000+ out of pocket if they don’t have insurance.

Oh, and let’s not forget the additional annual cost for batteries, which can run between $30 and $150. With prices that high, it’s not unusual for people to wonder what Medicare coverage for hearing aids is like… Or whether or not Medicare will even pay for hearing aids.

Today, we’re going to shed some light on the question many people have, “Does Medicare pay for hearing aids?”

Does Medicare Pay For Hearing Aids?

So you went to the doctor and you’ve been slapped with the news that you have significant hearing loss and you’ll need to wear hearing aids if you want to hear well again.  As someone whose health insurance is provided by Medicare, you’ll want to know will Medicare pay for hearing aids.

Medicare funding

Short answer: Not if you have Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). Although original Medicare doesn’t cover the cost of your hearing aids, you do have options.

Is There Any Type of Medicare Coverage for Hearing Aids?

If you go to your doctor and they determine that you have a medical condition that can be diagnosed with a diagnostic hearing exam, you may get up to 80% of the cost (minus your deductible) for the tests.

If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you may have additional benefits in addition to what’s covered by Part A and Part B. These benefits can include prescription drugs, routine hearing and vision care, dental care and in some instances hearing aids may be covered.

What state you live in will determine if you are eligible for one of the two types of Medicare Advantage that may include hearing aid coverage. These two options are:

  • Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO) – An HMO will usually include coverage for prescription medicine and other optional health benefits. This could include the hearing tests and aids.
  • ​HMOs sometimes will require that you only see doctors that are in your plan’s network – unless it’s a medical emergency. In some instances, you may be eligible for a Special Needs Plan. This plan is a low-cost HMO whose enrollment is only open to individuals with certain medical conditions, who live in a nursing facility, or if they are eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare.
  • Preferred Provider Organizations(PPOs) – This plan will allow you to choose any provider who accepts your particular healthcare plan. However, if you go to a doctor who is part of the network, your out-of-pocket costs will be much less. These plans may also offer additional benefits like vision, hearing, and dental care, as well as prescription coverage.

​What Are My Options Besides Medicare?

If you don’t have enough money to cover the cost of your hearing aids, you do have options. These options include:

Medical Flexible Spending Accounts

If you have this type of account, you could be reimbursed for the cost of the hearing aids and the batteries.

​Medicaid

Medicaid may cover the cost of your hearing aids but you’ll need to check with your state’s requirements, as each state’s requirements may differ. You can check your state’s requirements by checking the Hearing Loss Association of America website.

Medicaids

Veteran Benefits

Veterans can get hearing aids if doctors can connect to military service or a medical condition that was treated at a VA hospital. Veterans also have the option of getting their hearing aids through the VA if the hearing loss is significant enough that it affects every day life.

Federal Employee Assistance

If you’re a federal employee, you and your family may be entitled to certain insurance plans that’ll cover the basic hearing aid.

Nonprofit Organizations

There are nonprofit organizations that’ll help people who have hearing problems. Sertoma runs a hearing aid recycling program called SHARP. HEAR Now is sponsored by the Starkey Hearing Foundation and they work to provide people with low-incomes hearing aids ($125 each aid) and evaluations.

Private Insurers

There aren’t many insurance providers that’ll cover hearing aids, but if you live in New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Arkansas, you’ll be covered in some degree. Check with the insurance company in said states to fully understand what is covered on your plan.

Insurers Private

Affordable Care Act

There are some states that cover hearing aids and other services through the Affordable Care Act.

Health Savings Accounts

Since these accounts are much like the Flexible Spending Accounts, the money you save can be used toward the cost of batteries and the hearing aids. Any unused funds in these accounts will carry over to the next year.

Health Reimbursement Accounts

These accounts are usually offered and funded by your employer. Your company ultimately can decide if hearing aids are or are not part of the benefits.

Final Thoughts On Medicare Coverage for Hearing Aids

Healthcare in this country isn’t that great and Medicare coverage for hearing aids is non-existent. Even trying to find a plan that will cover the costs for your hearing aids can be stressful. However, there are options that can help you pay for hearing aids and evaluations.

We hope that this article helped clear up the question about whether or not Medicare will cover the cost of hearing aids. For more information about hearing aids, check out this article where we break down everything you need to know about the hearing aid, how to know if you need one, different types of hearing aids and so much more.

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