If you’re a Medicare beneficiary or if you’ll be enrolling soon, you might be wondering if Medicare covers hearing aids. Below, we provide the information you need to know about Medicare coverage for hearing aids and how to pay for hearing aids in 2021.
As we age, many of us face hearing loss. Most hearing loss is irreversible, but it’s also treatable, thanks to hearing aids. Wearing hearing aids can help you follow conversations, socialize, and enjoy movies. Hearing aids also lower the risk of developing dementia later in life.
Are Hearing Aids Covered by Medicare
Medicare doesn’t provide coverage for hearing aids, hearing exams, or exams where the patient is fitted for hearing aids. This means that the beneficiary is responsible for 100% of these costs. If your provider orders diagnostic hearing and balance exams, they’ll be covered by Part B. When a hearing problem is discovered, Medicare won’t pay for hearing aids, hearing exams, or exams for hearing aid fittings.
Further, Medigap plans cover the 20% that Original Medicare leaves uncovered. Because Medicare doesn’t cover hearing aids and related exams, a Medigap plan also won’t help cover them.
However, Medicare Advantage plans often include hearing plans as part of their benefits.
Medicare Advantage Hearing Aid Coverage in 2021
Medicare Advantage plans often include dental, vision, and hearing benefits. Before signing up for a Medicare Advantage plan, make sure the network includes your preferred providers as well as the suite of hearing benefits you need, as some do cover hearing aids. Also, check to ensure that you’ll have access to a local and reputable audiologist within your plan network for your hearing health needs.
Do Medicare Supplement Plans Cover Hearing Aids?
Medicare Supplement plans work together with Medicare. They cover the same healthcare services that Medicare does. Since Medicare doesn’t cover hearing aids, Medicare Supplement plans don’t cover them either.
You can, however, buy a separate insurance policy that includes hearing services and hearing aids. Hearing insurance may be sold together with vision and dental coverage. The specifics of these policies will vary depending on the carrier of the policy you choose.
Medicare Hearing Aid Coverage in 2021
The high cost of hearing aids has attracted the attention of Congress. Changes are in the works to possibly make hearing aids more affordable for everyone.
Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids
In 2017, Congress passed legislation instructing the Food and Drug Administration to ease barriers to the purchasing of hearing aids. Since then, the FDA has been working to approve the sale of over-the-counter hearing aids. Once approved, people with mild to moderate hearing loss will be able to purchase self-fitted hearing aids. Currently, it’s always necessary to visit your audiologist for a hearing aid fitting.
As of mid-2020, this legislation has not been realized. The latest push to pass the legislation came in the form of a letter from two legislators to the FDA in December 2019. We’re keeping our fingers on the pulse of the issue and will be updating this page with any major news or changes in the availability of OTC hearing aids.
In late 2019, a pair of lawmakers introduced the Medicare Hearing Act of 2019 in the House of Representatives. The bill would allow Medicare to cover hearing aids for people with severe to profound hearing loss.
Medicare would pay for one pair of hearing aids every five years, but it wouldn’t pay for over-the-counter hearing aids. The hearing aids would also need to be deemed necessary by a qualified audiologist or physician.
It’s difficult to say if and exactly when in the future beneficiaries will be able to take advantage of expanded benefits for hearing. The goal of the legislations listed above is to make costly elements of healthcare more affordable for seniors and disabled individuals. We’ll keep this page up-to-date with the latest information about the status of these legislations.
Hearing Aid Prices on Medicare
There’s no such thing as a Medicare discount for hearing aids. Hearing aids are costly, and you must be fitted for them by your audiologist. The average cost of a single digital hearing aid is $3,000 to $4,000. Some retailers offer hearing services. Their advertised prices are less than you might pay at an audiologist’s office. But even though these retailers, a pair of hearing aids can cost thousands of dollars.
This factor of cost is one reason only about one in four adults who could benefit from hearing aids has used them. Many people wait years before finally getting hearing aids. If you need help with the cost of your hearing aids, do an online search for “assistance paying for hearing aids” in your state.
Medicare Coverage for Cochlear Implants
When deemed medically necessary, Part B of Medicare will cover cochlear implants. These can also be paid for by Medicare Advantage plans. Those who have a Medigap plan will likely pay the least amount out-of-pocket for medically necessary cochlear implants. Talk to your doctor about the cost of cochlear implants with your policy. Further, discuss the specific rules or criteria that may apply.
Does Medicare Part B cover hearing aids?
Part B covers doctor visits and durable medical equipment like wheelchairs and oxygen. However, Part B doesn’t cover hearing aids, hearing exams, or exams where the beneficiary is fitted for hearing aids.
Does Medicare pay for a hearing test?
Part B pays for hearing and balance exams when deemed medically necessary. However, it doesn’t pay for tests to measure hearing loss and determine if you need hearing aids.
Does TRICARE for Life cover hearing aids?
Hearing aids aren’t covered on TRICARE for Life for retired service members or their families. However, if you’re a former service member, you may be eligible for other government programs to help pay for hearing aids. If you’ve enrolled at a VA Medical Center, you can obtain Audiology services and hearing aids at the center for no cost. You may also be eligible for the Retiree-At-Cost Hearing Aid Program. Some military hospitals offer hearing aids and fitting services at a discount.
Are there any other options for hearing aid coverage?
Yes, hospital indemnity plans cover 70% of the cost of hearing aids after your first full year of coverage.
How to Get Help Paying for Hearing Aids with Medicare
Depending on your situation and where you live, there may be federal, state, or local programs to help you pay for an audiologist visit and hearing aids.
Medicaid pays for hearing aids in some states. If your income is too high to qualify for Medicaid, you may be able to get assistance through your county Social Services department.
You may also find a clinic that offers hearing aid services on a sliding scale depending on income. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you may have some coverage for hearing aids.
Medicare isn’t free, so we recommend having additional coverage for the equipment and services you need. We can help with all your Medicare insurance needs, including searching for policies that will cover hearing exams and hearing aids.
About This Site
MedicareFAQ.com (hereinafter “the Site” or “this Site”) is an online resource for people seeking to learn more about their insurance options. Elite Insurance Partners LLC does not endorse any particular insurance plan, provider, or agent. Any information provided about any particular insurance plan, provider, or agent shall not be construed as an endorsement by Elite Insurance Partners LLC.
Copyright and Proprietary Rights Information
This website is owned and maintained by Elite Insurance Partners LLC. No content or images may be downloaded or reproduced without our prior and explicit consent.
While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the content of medicarefaq.com, we cannot be held accountable for typographical errors, errors of fact, or any other error or inconsistency found on this website. We hereby disclaim all liability from any damages resulting from the use of this website, or any services provided on any Elite Insurance Partners LLC website.
Links to Third Party Sites
This Site may contain links to sites that are controlled by third parties. These linked sites are not under the control of Elite Insurance Partners LLC, and Elite Insurance Partners LLC is not responsible for the contents of any linked site or any link contained in a linked site.
Information Collected by Elite Insurance Partners LLC
Elite Insurance Partners LLC uses this website to collect personally-identifiable information. When you use our service, you are authorizing the sharing of your inquiry and your personal information with Elite Insurance Partners LLC. The personal information we collect may include, but is not limited to:
These technologies help companies measure the effectiveness of ads, content, user experience and other marketing activities.
How Information Is Collected
We only collect your personally-identifiable information when you choose to share it with us. We will not collect any personally-identifiable information without your consent. The information you choose to share with us may be collected through this website, another website in the Elite Insurance Partners LLC network, or collected over the phone by one of Elite Insurance Partners LLC licensed insurance agents.
Cookies and other technologies, such as web beacons or tags, may be sent to visitors of this website. “Cookies” are text-only pieces of information that a website transfers to an individual’s hard drive or other web site-browsing equipment for record-keeping purposes. Cookies allow the website to remember important information that will make your use of the site more convenient. A cookie will typically contain the name of the domain from which the cookie has come, the “lifetime” of the cookie, and a randomly generated, unique number or other value. A “beacon,” “tag,” or “tracking pixel,” is a one pixel by one pixel image placed on a web asset or email. When your browser connects to a web page and the web page contains a web beacon image, your browser makes a request to the web server to download that image — and with this request, the server logs certain details like your IP address, the date and time, and more.
With cookies, web beacons and other technologies, the information collected and used is always anonymous and does not enable any third-party to identify you individually.
How Information Is Used & Opting-Out
By choosing to submit your personally-identifiable information to us, you are authorizing Elite Insurance Partners LLC to use this information for any purpose in our sole discretion. An Elite Insurance Partners LLC licensed agent may contact you by phone, email, mail, or other form of communication to fulfill your inquiry and provide you with other offers you may be interested in. You expressly consent to receive these communications whether you are on any Federal or state DNC (Do Not Call) and/or DNE (Do Not Email) list or registry.
Although it is our hope that you find this service valuable, if you would prefer not to participate, you can opt-out of this activity at any time by following the browser-specific instructions at the following link: https://www.usa.gov/optout-instructions
If you no longer wish to receive further communications from Elite Insurance Partners LLC, you may “opt-out” at any time and we will remove you from our mailing list within 10 days. You may opt-out of receiving emails by following the “Unsubscribe” link at the bottom of our emails, or by contacting us via the information below.
Elite Insurance Partners LLC 34125 Us Highway 19 North – Unit 200 Palm Harbor, FL 34684 firstname.lastname@example.org 1 (800) 845-2484
Changes to This Policy
This website is owned and operated by Elite Insurance Partners LLC.
Aetna Health and Life Insurance Company (An Aetna Company)
American Continental Insurance Company (An Aetna Company)
American Retirement Life Insurance Company (A Cigna Company)
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Central States Indemnity (A Berkshire Hathaway Group Company)
Continental Life Insurance Company (An Aetna Company)
ForeThought Life Insurance
Gerber Life Insurance
Government Personnel Mutual
Individual Assurance Company
Loyal American Life Insurance Company (A Cigna Company)
Mutual of Omaha
New Era Life Insurance
Omaha Insurance Company (A Mutual of Omaha Company)
Philadelphia American Life Insurance
SilverScript (A CVS Caremark Company)
Standard Life and Casualty
Stonebridge Life Insurance (A TransAmerica Company)