SeniorsMobility is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Does Medicare Cover Hearing Aids

Does Medicare Cover Hearing Aids? How to Get Free Hearing Aids Through Medicare, Medicaid, VA or Private Insurance

By Maurice

Does Medicare Cover Hearing Aids

While Original Medicare doesn’t cover hearing loss or any other hearing aids, fittings, or other hearing devices, there are Medicare advantage plans that cover hearing aids

 In this article we answer everything you need to know to answer the question "Does Medicare cover hearing aids?", including what to expect from Medicare and Medicaid, how private insurance works, and confirmed ways you can get free hearing aids.

Why Doesn’t Medicare Cover Hearing Aids?

Back in 1965, the government of the USA signed Medicare Cover into law. However, the cover didn’t include hearing loss coverage. Then hearing loss treatment was not costly, which means most people could afford it. Further, older adults didn’t live for long, so there was no need to introduce it. But in recent years, hearing loss coverage has become necessary. Most adults who have hearing loss cannot afford to foot the medical bills.

medicare logo

Does Medicare Cover a Hearing test?

Not wholly. For Medicare to cover your hearing tests, the doctor must refer you. So if you have hearing loss problems, don’t expect to be treated as a walk-in patient. But according to Medicare, this is how it works. If the doctor refers you for a medical hearing test, Part B of Medicare will cover the diagnosis and balance exams.

As a patient, you will pay 20 percent of the amount that Medicare will approve, and the fee is for the doctor’s services and the exams. Note that Medicare doesn’t cover hearing exams, aids, or any fitting hearing aids.

Does Medicaid Cover Hearing Aids?

It depends on which state you are in. That is because Medicaid Covers hearing aids from different states. But more than half of the states are covered.

How To Get Hearing Aids Through Medicaid

Medicaid gives hearing aids to patients who have undergone a medical evaluation. A licensed practicing practitioner should do the assessment. So the patient should provide a prescription with details showing they need a hearing aid. A point to note is that states may update their coverage now and then, which warrants the patients to check for the updated coverage to avoid inconveniences.

Medicaid Hearing Aid Coverage by State

Let’s discuss some of the states that Medicaid covers, the benefits, and their limitations.

California

California

Here are some services that California cover:

  • They replace lost or hearing aids that are not in good condition.
  • They test, do the exams and follow-ups for cochlear implants.
  • They give pregnant women a cochlear implant follow-up.
  • They give earmolds

Restrictions:

  • They don’t cover hearing aid batteries.
  • Otolaryngologists must prescribe the hearing aid for the patient, and the hearing aid dispenser should supply it.
  • The hearing exams and tests are not covered. But for pregnant women who may suffer hearing loss as pregnancy-related are covered. Also, people living in nursing homes that are licensed, like Skilled Nursing facilities, are covered.
Alaska

Alaska

Alaska covers hearing therapy, aids, rehabilitative and item repairs. Further, you can get diagnostic testing.

Limitations

You cannot get these services if you don’t have a prescription from a health practitioner. They are responsible for ordering and administering them to the patient. Further, the health practitioner must have a license within that state.

Florida

Florida

These are services covered in Florida:

  • Hearing aids and aid fitting services. You can also get hearing aids, accessories, and repairs.
  • They offer cochlear implant services
  • You can get diagnostic audiological testing
  • They do hearing evaluations, and these are to determine what kind of hearing aid you should be given.

Restrictions:

  • Licensed practitioners must give the hearing services.
  • Repairs cannot be done if the warranty has not expired
  • No routine maintenance, wire replacement, or cleaning are included in the cover.
  • To get a concealer implant, you must have authorization. Even hearing evaluations are limited to one every three years, and that means if your last evaluation is today, you must wait for three years before you get another one.
  • You only get hearing aids one per ear after every three years.
Illinois

Illinois

Illinois states cover basic and advanced hearing tests, and Audiologists must do these services. They include: hearing aid counseling testing, fitting, evaluation, sale of hearing aids, hearing aid accessories, repairs, and replacement of parts.

Restrictions:

Medicaid covers the extent of your hearing loss. For example, if you need coverage on monaural hearing aids, they follow these criteria:

  • Hearing loss should be 25dB. Alternatively, it should be greater than 500, 1000, or 2000Hz.
  • Hearing loss should be 20dB, and it can also be greater at any two of 500,1000, 2000, 4000, 8000 Hz.

However, if the testing is not done in the acoustically treated sound suite, this is the criteria:

  • Hearing loss should be 30 dB or bigger than any two of 500, 1000, 2000, 4000, or 8000 Hz.
  • It can also be 35 dB or bigger than one of 500, 1000, or 200 Hz.
Missouri

Missouri

They cover for pregnant, blind, and beneficiaries in nursing facilities. Other states that are covered:

  • New Mexico
  • New Jersey
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • Montana
  • Minnesota
  • Iowa
  • Idaho

Hearing Aid Providers That Accept Medicaid Near Me - How to Find Them

There are only 30 states that offer Medicaid hearing aids in the USA, making it hard for most seniors to get their services. Within these states, a study was done and revealed the four states that offer Medicaid services that are above average. Through this study, geographic diversity and state government political composition were among the important aspects considered. The states are California, Texas, Massachusetts, and Indiana.

To find the best hearing aid providers near you, consult your primary care physician. You can check with your hearing care providers through your health plan. There are also web links you can click once you identify areas where Medicaid is offered, and those links have information that can lead you to these hearing aid providers.

Does Medicare Advantage Cover Hearing Aids?

Medicare advantage covers hearing aids. It Is an insurance company run privately but has a contract with Medicare. All parts of Medicare plans are included in the Medicare Advantage. But to be on the safe side, you should check with your insurance since there are times you are required to pay for hearing exams.

Which Medicare Advantage Plans Cover Hearing Aids?

Medicare Part C covers most or all hearing aids. But it comes with additional costs, which may be transferred to the insured. However, since it is private insurance, it can cover you according to how you pay. You may opt to pay a premium amount to benefit from full coverage.

The payments depend on the insurer, and it ranges from $0 going up. Before you start paying, it is wise to compare prices to choose what will benefit you. Sometimes if you choose a doctor within your network, you can receive a free hearing exam.

Do Medicare Supplements Cover Hearing Aids?

It fills the gap that the original medicare doesn’t cover. Such gaps are copayment, coinsurance, and deductibles. A point to note is that Medicare supplements don’t cover people using Medicare for the first time. This took effect on January 1, 2020, but you can buy some deductibles if you were a member before then.

Does insurance cover hearing aids? Information on specific plans:

Most insurance companies don’t cover the cost of hearing aids. But some policies cover it. According to the care act, insurers must cover audiological exams costs because the law doesn’t require providers to cater for hearing devices costs. You can check with your insurance if they have a plan covering hearing aids.

Does Aetna Medicare cover hearing aids?

It is approved by Medicare to offer Medicare Advantage plans. Aetna provides some additional benefits like hearing care. In addition, it has plans for annual hearing exams and hearing aid fitting. If you explore further, you will get some plans offering an annual allowance when you want to purchase hearing aids. It is a good option since it is available across the USA, which is accessible to many.

Does Humana Medicare Cover Hearing Aids?

It covers some part of the costs. But this is if the doctor has given you a diagnosis showing you have hearing loss. It has Humana Advantage plans that are inclusive of:

  • TruHearing
  • The hearing aid benefit program. This covers co-pay that gives you access to two hearing aid devices per year.
  • A free annual hearing exam

If you are a member and your program has the above plans, you can get a standard hearing device for $699 co-pay or a premium aid for $999.

Does United Healthcare Medicare Cover Hearing Aids?

Yes, several United Healthcare plans cover hearing aids. They have included hearing health care and hearing aids in their plans. If you choose a plan like the ASO plan, you will find out that they have beneficial plans for people with hearing losses. United Healthcare has partnered with Health innovations and Epic Hearing Healthcare. These are some of the leading hearing health providers. Together they offer hearing aids with reduced prices of up to 80% compared to the market range.

Does Tufts Medicare Cover Hearing Aids?

Yes, Tufts Medicare covers hearing aids of up to two hearing aids per year, and they give one hearing aid per ear. However, there are five different levels that you should choose from, and the prices are fixed. The prices are for each hearing aid.

  • Standard level: $250
  • Superior level: $475
  • Advanced level: $650
  • Advanced Plus level: $850
  • Premier level: $1,150

Note that they don’t cover any hearing evaluation.

Medicare Dental Vision and Hearing Benefit Act - What It Is

This is a bill introduced on 8/5/2021 to the senate covering Medicare for dental, vision, and hearing care. The law provides particular payment procedures, limits, and coinsurance requirements for such care. The bill covers the following:

  • Dental Care. This includes cleaning and exams, dental care and dentures, and dental services (basic and major).
  • Eye exams. These include eyeglasses and contact lenses and routing eyes exams.
  • Routine hearing exams. These included exams for hearing aids and hearing aids.

The bill also raises the Medicaid Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) for dentistry, vision, and hearing services (i.e., the federal matching rate).

Free Hearing Aids for Veterans - How To Get Them

Veterans who are suffering from hearing loss can get their free hearing aids through VA health benefits. Also, a monthly tax-free payment is given through VA disability compensation.

Where To Get Free Hearing Aids - Programs for Seniors

There are different places seniors can get their free hearing aids. They include:

  • Hearing loss of America
  • Miracle-Ear Foundation
  • Starkey Hearing Foundation
  • Trial Programs, among others.

Alternatives to Hearing Aids

For seniors who don’t enjoy using hearing aids, there are different alternatives you can pursue. You can use some with hearing aids, whereas others are just for assistance. Such alternatives are:

TV listening devices - the most common are tv ears and Sennheiser wireless listening devices. They help the affected people by reducing the TV volume.

Amplified Telephone - these are helpful to people who can’t hear over the phone. Most states give them free of charge so you can check if your state provides for its seniors.

Communication Strategies - you can communicate with people face to face. Also, you can reduce the noise around, etc.

What Should You Do Now?

There is an online application that you can fill if you want to get Medicare parts A and B. It is found on Social Security. Alternatively, you can visit the office and fill it in, in person. For those looking for Medicare Advantage, you can compare the packages from Medicare Government.

If you are suffering from hearing losses, you can choose the right insurance that will help you reap the benefits. You can also explore different states that offer such covers and know which is best suited for your needs. That will give you a wide range of services to compare with and settle for the best.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *