Medicare Coverage of Hearing Aids
Unfortunately, hearing aids are not covered by Medicare. Original Medicare, which includes hospital insurance (Part A) and medical insurance (Part B), does not cover hearing aids or exams.
Medicare was established with the intention of covering the costs of non-routine health care procedures, such as surgeries, with no intention of covering health care items like hearing aids or incontinence supplies.
Now, Medicare Part B can cover hearing tests that are part of your medical care (for example, if you have an illness that impacts your hearing, Medicare will cover 80% of the cost of the test) – so the catch is that your doctor can accept Medicare to cover the majority of costs related to hearing tests, but Medicare does not cover hearing aids.
Does Medicare Cover Hearing Exams?
There are certain cases where it is possible to get Medicare to cover your hearing exams. If your doctor recommends the coverage, Medicare can cover a majority of the cost for a hearing test or exam. Medicare Part B covers diagnostic hearing and balance exams – you pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for the exam services, and the Part B deductible applies.
Medicare does not fully cover hearing exams, fittings for hearing aids, or hearing aids.
Does Medicare Advantage Cover Hearing Aids?
Some Medicare Advantage plans cover hearing exams and hearing aids, but not all hearing care is covered. Medicare Advantage, also known as Part C, offers coverage for hearing services and covers some of the cost of hearing aids in most cases.
Medicare Advantage is offered by a private insurer that who will bundle the insurance with your Original Medicare plan, so your hearing aid coverage depends on which insurance company you have chosen for your Medicare Advantage plan. Contact your insurance company to find out what your hearing aid benefits are.
How to Add Medicare Advantage to Your Medicare Plan
Contact a Medicare professional like CoverageHaven to compare different insurance plans and find a Medicare Advantage Plan that is right for your needs. You can compare benefits offered by different companies and calculate your monthly premiums and deductibles to decide the best plan for you. A Medicare Advantage plan is added onto your Original Medicare plan.
How Much Do Hearing Aids Cost?
Generally, hearing aids cost between $2,000 to $7,000. The price is often bundled with the hearing test, fitting, and batteries. You can also opt for a “personal sound amplification product”, which costs $200-$500, which can improve environmental sound for people with hearing loss.
Will Medicare Cover Hearing Aids in The Future?
There have been many budgeting efforts made by the Medicare Dental, Vision, and Hearing Benefit Act of 2021, which aims to expand Medicare Part B to include hearing aids, among other items and services. The FDA is currently establishing regulations for over-the-counter hearing aids in an attempt to reduce prices and make them more accessible.
Does Medicaid Cover Hearing Aids?
Medicaid eligibility, coverage, and benefits vary widely from state to state. Medicaid was created to provide healthcare to low-income adults, children, elderly people, pregnant women, and disabled people. Out of the 50 states, 20 of them don’t provide hearing aid coverage for adults. The 30 states that do provide coverage have limitations specific to each state.
Most often, Medicaid recipients must have a medical diagnosis and hearing aid prescription from their doctor before receiving coverage. Federal guidelines require all states to provide hearing aids and hearing services for people until the age of 21.