If you are considering getting hearing aids, you’re probably wondering whether insurance will help cover the cost. As a manufacturer we don’t sell our hearing products directly to patients, nor do we have any control over what health insurers will cover. However, we have done some research in response to all the questions we receive on this subject. Here’s what we’ve turned up with regards to which hearing health treatments insurance will ― and won’t ― cover.
Medicare and supplemental insurance
As of this writing, Medicare Part B (the portion of Medicare that covers many doctors’ and preventative services, outpatient care, and medical supplies) will pay for an office visit to diagnose hearing or balance problems if your primary care physician or other approved healthcare provider orders tests to determine whether you need medical treatment. Original Medicare also pays 80 percent of the doctor’s Medicare-approved services for covered exams after your Part B deductible has been satisfied. Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover actual hearing aids or visits made to fit them.
Medicare supplemental insurance programs are worth exploring, including Medicare Advantage (Part C) and options from associations like AARP and Blue Cross/Blue Shield. These private insurers frequently offer valuable benefits to those who need hearing aids. Since even partial coverage can make fittings and the devices themselves much more affordable, we recommend contacting these providers to learn more about their offerings.
Children are qualified to receive coverage for hearing exams, and if needed hearing aids, on a national level under the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) Program from birth until they reach 21 years of age. However, depending on where you live, Medicaid will cover exams and hearing aids for adults also, so long as you meet certain qualifications. Each state determines what it will and won’t cover, so check with your local Medicaid office for the most current information.
Although technically not an insurance program, it’s worth mentioning that the Veterans Administration (VA) provides financial assistance (or in some cases free) hearing tests and hearing aids to qualified military veterans. You might even qualify to receive free hearing aid accessories and batteries through this agency. If you or a family member is a military service veteran, it is definitely worth your while to contact a local VA office to find out how to apply for this coverage.
Other insurance options
A number of private, government, and nonprofit corporations cover or provide discounts for their employees’ hearing healthcare needs, including hearing aids. If you are employed, take a look at your insurance benefits or contact your Human Resources department for assistance. Even if your employer doesn’t provide coverage, use of a medical Flexible Spending Account (FSA) can allow you to set aside up to $5,000 per year of pre-tax dollars to pay for hearing aids and related services.
Please note that the information contained in this post is highly generalized. Talk to your doctor, hearing care professional, and/or insurance agent about the specifics of your case to find out exactly what will be covered, as other factors may influence these determinations.