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Does Medicare Cover Hearing Aids?

Original Medicare ( Part A and Part B ) doesn’t provide coverage for routine hearing care.  This encompasses hearing aids, their fittings, or routine hearing examinations.  There is chatter that this could change in the future.

For now, if you require diagnostic hearings or balance exams due to medical necessity, such as illness or injury-related hearing loss, Medicare Part B may cover these services.  Otherwise, you will be responsible for all related out-of-pocket costs.

Medicare Part C Advantage Hearing Benefits

Medicare Part C Advantage plans may offer additional benefits not covered by Original Medicare.  These private insurance plans can include coverage for hearing aids and related services.  Coverage details and out-of-pocket costs vary by plan.

Some Medicare Advantage plans may offer extra benefits, such as discounted rates on hearing aids or a capped amount toward the purchase of hearing aids each year.  It’s important to review each plan’s specifics to understand your coverage for hearing services.

What other insurance covers hearing aids?

Since Medicare doesn’t cover hearing aids, you have several alternative insurance options to consider that can help manage the costs associated with hearing healthcare.

Stand-Alone Hearing Insurance Plans

Stand-alone hearing insurance plans are specifically designed to cover hearing-related healthcare, including the cost of hearing aids. These plans can be purchased independently from other health insurance policies.  They often cover:

  • Hearing tests ─ To determine your level of hearing loss.
  • Hearing aid fitting and purchase ─ Financial support towards the cost of the device.
  • Maintenance and repairs ─ Coverage for potential hearing aid cleaning and repairs over time.

Hearing Discount Plans

Hearing discount plans aren’t insurance plans but may offer discounts on hearing aids and services for a membership fee.  Features typically include:

  • Reduced prices ─ Lower costs on hearing aids and related services.
  • Network of providers ─ Access to a network of audiologists and hearing aid providers offering discounted rates.
  • Other hearing services ─ Possible discounts on batteries and additional hearing accessories.

Are hearing aids for tinnitus included in Medicare plans?

If you have tinnitus and are wondering whether Medicare will cover your hearing aid costs, it’s important to understand the specifics of your coverage.

At the risk of sounding repetitive, Original Medicare (Part A and B) doesn’t cover hearing aids or exams for fitting hearing aids.  This lack of coverage includes devices specifically for tinnitus therapy.

However, you might find coverage through Medicare Part C Advantage plans.  These plans are offered by private insurance companies approved by Medicare.  They can provide additional benefits, including:

  • Routine hearing exams
  • Hearing aids

Each Medicare Advantage plan has its own rules and costs for hearing aid coverage.  To understand your specific benefits:

  1. Review your plan’s Evidence of Coverage document.
  2. Contact customer service for your plan.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to hearing aids, understanding the extent of Medicare’s benefits allows you to plan your healthcare expenses accordingly.

  • Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) does NOT typically cover hearing aids or exams for fitting them.
  • Medicare Part C Advantage plans may offer additional benefits, including hearing aid coverage.  However, benefits vary by plan, so reviewing plan specifics is important.

HEARTWISE

What You Can Do?

  • Consult with an audiologist to assess your personal hearing needs.
  • Review your current Medicare coverage and consider an Advantage plan with hearing aid benefits.
  • Explore ancillary insurance plans with hearing coverage or alternative options for financial assistance with hearing aids.

Like any insurance program, Medicare involves complexities regarding its coverage options and costs.  I’m here to help you make informed choices that are aligned with your healthcare needs and financial circumstances.

Rodney POWELL

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