According to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIH), hearing loss is one of the most common conditions that affect elderly adults. You may have heard that some Medicare plans cover hearing aids so read on to find out how to get your hearings aids covered.
Approximately 33% of people between the ages of 65 and 74 have hearing loss and nearly half of those older than 75 have difficulty hearing.
If you suffer from hearing loss one of the most common treatments is hearing aids. Other solutions noted by the NIH include cochlear implants (implanted hearing aids), assistive listening devices (e.g. telephone and cell phone amplifying devices, smartphone or tablet ‘apps’), and learning to lip-read.
Does Original Medicare cover hearing aids?
Unfortunately, Original Medicare (Part A and B) does not cover any costs for hearing aids or any routine hearing tests. If you are under Original Medicare, you will be responsible for 100% of the costs of hearing exams in addition to the fitting for hearing aids.
The only case Medicare will cover hearing exams is for diagnostic hearing and balance exams. This is when a doctor order tests to see if a person requires medical treatment for a condition other than hearing loss (e.g. diagnosing the cause of dizziness or vertigo). In this scenario, Medicare Part B will cover 80% of the approved amount and you will cover the remaining 20% along with the annual deductible for Part B.
Does Medicare Advantage cover hearing aids?
Many Medicare Advantage plans offer coverage for routine hearing care. Medicare Advantage plans, also known as Medicare Part C, are bundled “all-in-one” alternatives to Original Medicare that include Part A, B, and sometimes D (drug coverage). These plans are required by law to provide at least the same coverage for medical services and supplies as Original Medicare and often include extra benefits not covered by Original Medicare including vision, hearing, and dental care.
In 2020, 83% of Medicare Advantage plans across the country provided coverage for hearing aids. Hearing aids in some cases may be included with limited additional out-of-pocket costs while others may require copayments when getting hearing aids. The availability of these plans will generally depend on where you live and the plan providers in your area.
At CoverRight, we have seen plans coverage can provide up to $1,500 coverage for hearing aids every year for both ears combined.
Does Medigap cover hearing aids?
As Medigap (also known as Medicare supplement policy) is used to help cover the out-of-pocket costs in Original Medicare it will not cover any services or costs unless Original Medicare also covers these costs. Given this, Medigap plans also do not provide any coverage on routine hearing exams or hearing aids.
Unfortunately, Original Medicare does not cover any part of hearing aids or hearing exams. However, many Medicare Advantage plans include hearing aids as an extra benefit. The availability of these plans will depend on the area you live in, however, Medicare Advantage plans continue to add more benefits every year. You should always check to see whether you can find a plan that covers hearing.
At CoverRight, we’re here to help you find the right coverage that you deserve. Reach out today and start finding the best Medicare plan for you.