Insurance Can Lower the Cost of Hearing Aids
Of the 48 million Americans who experience hearing loss, only about 20 percent have ever worn hearing aids. Considering the mainstream acceptance of glasses as a solution to vision problems, why shouldn’t everyone take the same care of their hearing?
While hearing aids do often come with a hefty price tag, there are ways to avoid paying full price. Third-party payment options from union groups, insurance companies, rebates, Veterans Affairs, Medicare, and more can all be used to help cover the cost of hearing aids.
Medicare Part B and supplemental insurance
These plans will pay for a diagnostic visit if your primary care physician or other approved healthcare provider orders tests to determine your eligibility for treatment. In addition, Medicare covers 80 percent of the doctor’s services approved by Medicare for covered exams once you’ve paid your Part B deductible. However, the price of hearing aids and any follow-up visits are not covered by Medicare.
Even partial coverage from supplemental insurance programs such as Medicare Advantage (Part C) can significantly reduce costs. Potential hearing aid buyers should also consult the guidelines regarding coverage for AARP and Blue Cross/Blue Shield members, as these private insurers often provide rebates and other services for the hard of hearing. 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.
The Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) Program covers the cost for hearing exams and hearing aids for children under the age of 21. Medicaid does not usually cover adult exams and hearing aids unless the patient is eligible according to certain regulations. Call or visit your local Medicaid office to determine what coverage options are available in your state.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers partial or full coverage to eligible veterans for hearing tests and hearing aids. Depending on your location and circumstance, this agency may also provide free accessories and batteries for your hearing aid.
Other coverage options
Employees can ask about insurance benefits by contacting their Human Resources department. For those who don’t receive occupational coverage, a medical Flexible Spending Account (FSA)could provide up to $5,000 a year in pre-tax dollars that can be used toward your hearing aids and related services. In addition, nonprofit and government organizations have been established across the country to help reduce the cost of hearing aids and accessories. Consult a hearing loss support group in your area to determine what options are available for you.
Ultimately, the best way to receive proper advice on how to ease the burden of having to pay for hearing aids is by speaking with your hearing care professional. They will be able to look at your coverage and refer you to various organizations or information sources that can assist with the financial hardships of hearing care.
Your hearing isn’t getting any better on its own
Time and time again, reports show that hearing aid wearers are more satisfied with their experience when their devices are fitted and adjusted by a licensed practitioner. With the help of a hearing care professional, you can take the first step toward having your hearing loss diagnosed and purchasing a hearing aid so you can regain all the sounds you’ve been missing. Contact a hearing care professional using our online locator and schedule a no-obligation appointment today.
*NOTE: all government-run insurance information was taken from their .gov websites and was accurate at the time of this publication. As healthcare coverage fluctuates we advise consulting these websites directly for the most up-to-date and accurate information: