As we age, our ability to hear gradually deteriorates. Hearing loss can be a major issue for older adults as it impedes communication and makes participating in everyday activities more difficult.
So does Medicare cover hearing aids? This is probably the question to which nearly 30 million adults in the US who require hearing aids want an answer. While Medicare’s Original plans do not pay for hearing aids, that’s not the case for its Medicare Advantage options.
Therefore, options are still available in case you or someone you know needs hearing aids. Keep reading to find out more.
Does Medicare Pay for Hearing Aids?
In the US, over 18% of people have Medicare. However, while it does provide many benefits, it doesn’t cover the cost of hearing aids under its Original plans — Parts A and B. At the same time, some Medicare Advantage plans may offer hearing aid coverage through Part C.
Depending on your specific plan, you may be able to receive some assistance with hearing care costs. To find out more about this coverage, speak to your healthcare provider or contact the Medicare helpline.
Does Medicare Cover a Hearing Test?
While Medicare Part B takes care of diagnostic hearing tests when they are medically necessary, it doesn’t cover regular hearing exams or the cost of hearing aids.
Then again, plans offered by Medicare Advantage may provide coverage for these services. They also include the hearing tests, the hearing aid cost, and the fitting process. Some plans might also cover maintenance and repairs for your hearing aids.
If you think you may need a hearing test or want to know more about your coverage options, you should contact your Medicare Advantage plan provider.
Does Medicare Pay for Hearing Aids for Seniors?
While Original Medicare doesn’t pay for hearing aids or most other types of hearing-related care, a few Advantage plans offer seniors some coverage. However, you should remember that a deductible might apply and that the amount covered may be limited.
Suppose you initially selected one of the Original plans and are interested in switching to an Advantage plan because of the Medicare hearing aid coverage. In that case, you can do so every year between October 15th and December 7th, during the Medicare Open Enrollment period, when all clients can change, join, or drop a plan.
It is essential to research and compare the available options to see whether you are eligible for Medicare Advantage or Original Medicare. That way, you will be able to get the best coverage for your needs.
Does Medicare Cover Hearing Aids for Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is a condition that causes buzzing, ringing, or other kinds of noises in your ears. It can be pretty distressing for those affected and make it difficult to do everyday tasks, like sleeping or socializing. Therefore, your doctor may recommend hearing aids to help relieve the symptoms.
If they suggest hearing aids to help with your tinnitus, you might ask yourself, “will Medicare pay for the hearing aids?” Unfortunately, it won’t, so you will need to pay for them out of your pocket.
If you’re struggling with tinnitus, it’s essential to speak with your doctor and explore your options. Several treatments can help reduce the symptoms and impact of tinnitus on your quality of life. For example, your doctor might advise you to rely on treatments through devices that suppress the symptoms, such as white noise machines and maskers.
Medicare: Hearing Aids and Plans
This federal health insurance offers several plans to help cover the costs of services. Let’s take a look:
Medicare Part A: Hospital Insurance
- Hospital care
- Nursing home care
- Skilled nurse facility care
- Home health services
Medicare Part B: Medical Insurance
- Ambulance services
- Inpatient, outpatient, and partial hospitalization for mental illness
- Durable medical equipment
- Seeing a second doctor before surgery
- Clinical research
- Some outpatient prescription drugs
Medicare Part C: Medicare Advantage Plans
Private insurers that contract with Medicare can provide individuals with Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage Plans. These typically offer coverage for all aspects of Medicare, including those included in Part A and Part B.
So does Medicare cover hearing aids through this plan? In some cases, yes, along with hearing exams. As a matter of fact, 95% of Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) in 2022 covered hearing aids and/or exams.
Medicare Part D: Drug Plan Coverage
Medicare Part D provides coverage for prescription medications, and all plans have a list of available drugs, organized into different tiers. Moreover, each plan also lists the specific requirements for the drugs it covers.
Again, you might be wondering, “does Medicare pay for hearing aids through Part D?” Unfortunately, only Part C may cover your hearing aid costs.
No matter which plan you choose, it’s important to stay updated on any changes that may affect your coverage. Their benefits and premiums periodically change, so reading and understanding your plan is essential to ensure you’re getting everything you need. If you have any questions or concerns, speak with your healthcare provider or insurance agent.
Hearing Aid Coverage by State
Did you know that the coverage for hearing aids and cochlear implants varies from state to state? No matter what kind of insurance plan you have, it’s vital to know its benefits.
In many states, health insurance companies cover the hearing aids cost. The coverage might vary from a small part to 100% of the price, depending on your plan. Some states also have mandates on coverage for cochlear implants.
So if you are one of the 26.1 million Americans who reported they didn’t have health insurance in 2019, get one now and enjoy its many benefits.
The states that require insurance for hearing aids for children are:
- New Mexico
- New Jersey
- North Carolina
In addition to these states, Wisconsin requires coverage for both hearing aids and cochlear implants for children.
On the other hand, Connecticut, Arkansas, Illinois, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire require hearing aid coverage for both children and adults.
Since it appears that individual state legislatures determine the requirements for insurance plans to cover hearing aids, it is crucial for those who require them to be aware of their particular state’s coverage policies.
Does Medicare Cover Hearing Aids — Summary
Medicare does not pay for the cost of hearing aids through Part A and Part B, unfortunately. On the other hand, some Medicare Advantage plans may cover these costs through Part C. You will need to check your current plan to see if it has coverage for this medical device before purchasing a new one.
In case the cost of hearing aids isn’t covered by Medicare through your plan, you may be able to purchase private coverage. You might also consider working with an audiologist to create a payment plan that works for your budget.
Regardless of how you choose to pay, it is vital to get the best device possible, such as the Nano hearing aids, to ensure that you can continue to hear well into your golden years.
People Also Ask
When will Medicare cover hearing aids?
Unfortunately, it is currently unknown when and whether Medicare will include the hearing aids coverage in its Original plans — Parts A and B. However, it may cover these costs through its Advantage plans (Part C). Contact the Medicare helpline If you aren’t sure whether your plan includes this coverage. If you want to join a different plan, you can do so every year between October 15th and December 7th, during the Medicare Open Enrollment period.
Does AARP Medicare cover hearing aids?
While Medicare doesn’t cover hearing aids, there are other available options under one of its Advantage plans or a supplemental Medigap policy. This depends on your plan, so you should contact your provider for more information. If you are a veteran, there’s another way of paying: the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) allows you to qualify for its benefits, with which you will be eligible for hearing aids and testing.
Does Medicare Part B cover hearing aids?
Unfortunately, Medicare Part B does not cover hearing aids. This also applies to Part A, and Medicare is very clear about this on its website. However, an alternative to these plans offered by private insurers — Medicare Advantage (Part C) — includes extra benefits and may cover your hearing aid costs.Most Medicare Advantage plans (Part C) in 2021 and 2022 provided some form of hearing aid coverage. You might be wondering: “does Medicare cover hearing aids through this plan, and am I eligible?” This depends on your specific plan, so consult your healthcare provider to see what coverage is available to you.