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Does Medicare Cover Hearing Aids?

5 mins read
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Living with hearing loss can greatly impact a senior citizen’s quality of life, hindering their ability to communicate effectively and participate fully in social activities. Hearing aids are medical devices that can significantly improve hearing in those with auditory impairments. The cost of these devices, however, can be a significant barrier for many. 

Medicare is a federal healthcare program for people aged 65 and above, and those with end-stage renal disease or certain disabilities. When it comes to hearing aids, though, Medicare provides limited coverage, forcing beneficiaries to look for alternative coverage options. 

We will explore the extent of Medicare coverage for hearing aids in this article and provide insights into alternative avenues that seniors can explore to access affordable hearing care.

Medicare Coverage for Hearing Aids

Original Medicare plans, which include Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance), do not cover hearing aids. Beneficiaries who choose to buy one are responsible for the full cost.

Proposed changes and legislation related to expanding Medicare coverage for hearing aids are continuously being discussed. As of now, however, no changes have been implemented to provide universal coverage for hearing aids under traditional Medicare plans.

Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans, which private insurance companies approved by Medicare offer, may provide some coverage for hearing aids. The availability and extent of coverage will vary depending on the specific plan. Make sure to carefully review plan details to understand limitations, copayments, and other requirements associated with hearing aid coverage.

Medicare Coverage for Hearing Exams

Medicare provides coverage for certain hearing exams, allowing beneficiaries to receive diagnostic evaluations of their hearing health. Individuals are eligible for coverage of diagnostic hearing and balance exams under Medicare Part B as long as they are prescribed by a healthcare provider.

These diagnostic hearing exams assess the nature and extent of an individual’s hearing loss and healthcare professionals develop appropriate treatment plans. Medicare Part B coverage typically includes the cost of the hearing exam, but beneficiaries are responsible for the Part B deductible and a 20% coinsurance.

Part C or Medicare Advantage plans, may offer coverage for hearing exams as part of their comprehensive benefits package. The nature and extent of this can vary depending on the specific plan. Remember to review the details of your plan to understand the extent of coverage, copayments, and other requirements related to hearing exams.

Alternative Coverage Options for Hearing Aids

While Medicare coverage for hearing aids may be limited, there are alternative options available to help individuals access the care they need. These options can provide financial assistance and support for obtaining hearing aids. Here are some of the coverage options you can consider:

Medicare Advantage (Part C) Coverage for Hearing Aids

As discussed above, some Medicare Advantage plans cover the cost of hearing aids, offering beneficiaries an opportunity to obtain the devices at a lower cost.

The extent of coverage, however, depends on the specific plan. Some plans offer partial coverage, while others may provide comprehensive coverage for hearing aids. Beneficiaries must review their Medicare Part C plan to understand the precise details.

Example of Coverage

Let’s consider a fictional example to illustrate how Medicare Advantage coverage for hearing aids works. 

John is enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan that includes coverage for hearing aids. He recently underwent a hearing evaluation and was diagnosed with moderate hearing loss. With his Medicare Advantage plan, John was able to choose from a selection of hearing aids at a discounted rate ranging from 20% to 50% off the retail price of hearing aids.

Medicaid Coverage for Hearing Aids

Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that provides healthcare coverage for individuals with limited income and resources. While Medicaid coverage for hearing aids varies by state, many offer some level of coverage for hearing aids to eligible individuals.


Eligibility for Medicaid coverage of hearing aids typically involves factors such as income, assets, and medical necessity. The specific criteria for coverage vary from state to state, so it’s necessary to contact your state’s Medicaid program to determine eligibility requirements and coverage details.

Example of Coverage

Let’s consider another fictional case study to better understand Medicaid coverage for hearing aids:

Mary, a senior citizen with hearing loss, meets the income and asset requirements for hearing aid coverage under Medicaid in her state. She applies for it, gets approved, and can obtain the necessary hearing aid at little to no out-of-pocket cost. As a result, she’s able to address her hearing loss.

Other Potential Sources of Financial Assistance

There are other sources of financial assistance for hearing aids in addition to Medicare Advantage plans and Medicaid. 

Non-profit organizations, state programs, and community groups may offer support to individuals in need of hearing aids. These programs and resources vary by location and may provide assistance in the form of grants, subsidies, or discounts to help make hearing aids more affordable.

Each program is likely to have its own eligibility criteria, application processes, and limitations, so do your research to identify viable options in your area. 

At CoverRight, we are committed to helping you navigate the complexities of Medicare and make informed decisions about your hearing care. Contact us today to gain clarity on your eligibility, understand the available coverage options, and make the most of your Medicare benefits for hearing care. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of hearing aids are covered by Medicare?

Medicare coverage for hearing aids is limited, and routine hearing care, hearing aids, and exams for fitting hearing aids are not included under Original Medicare. That means a specific type or brand of hearing aid you might be considering won’t be covered by Medicare. 

Are there any income or asset limitations for Medicare coverage of hearing aids?

Medicare does not cover the cost of hearing aids. There may be income or asset limitations associated with other programs or assistance options that can help with the cost of hearing aids. For example, Medicaid, which is a state and federal program that provides health coverage for low-income individuals, may have income and asset requirements for hearing aid coverage.

How can I find affordable hearing aids without insurance coverage?

Finding affordable hearing aids without insurance coverage can be challenging, but there are options available. Here are some strategies you can consider:

  • Compare prices: Research different hearing aid providers and compare prices to find the most affordable options. 
  • Consider over-the-counter (OTC) options: The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved certain OTC hearing aids for individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss. These devices are available without a prescription and can be purchased online or in stores. 
  • Explore financing options: Many hearing aid providers offer financing plans or payment options that allow you to spread out the cost of a hearing aid over time. 
  • Look for hearing aid assistance programs: There are non-profit organizations and charitable foundations that assist individuals in need of hearing aids.
  • Consider refurbished or second-hand hearing aids: Some providers offer refurbished or pre-owned hearing aids at a lower cost. These devices have been carefully inspected, cleaned, and adjusted to ensure complete functionality. 

Can Medicare cover the cost of hearing tests and evaluations?

Medicare Part B may cover the diagnostic hearing and balance exams ordered by your doctor for medical purposes. Routine hearing tests or exams solely to obtain hearing aids, however, may not be covered. 

Coverage for hearing tests may also vary under Part C or Medicare Advantage plans. Review plan details carefully or contact your insurance company for specific information regarding coverage and requirements.

Richard Chan

Richard is the Founder of CoverRight and based in New York. He is passionate about empowering consumers to take control of their health and finances. Prior to starting CoverRight, Richard had extensive experience working in financial services with over 8 years' experience in consumer lending and investment banking.

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