Medicare Part A and Part B do not cover costs or services for hearing aids or fittings.
Most Medicare Advantage plans include hearing benefits.
If you have a Medicare Advantage plan with hearing benefits, check your plan to know whether you can go outside your provider network for hearing services.
Original Medicare does not cover hearing aids or exams for fitting hearing aids. However, the majority of Medicare Advantage plans provide some level of coverage to help pay for hearing needs.
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Original Medicare has never paid for hearing aids since the program debuted in 1965. When Medicare Advantage debuted in 1997, these plans opened the door for Medicare-eligible people to find help with hearing-related expenses.
Does Medicare Pay for Hearing Aids?
While Original Medicare (Parts A and B) typically doesn’t pay for anything related to hearing, Medicare Part B may pay for a hearing exam if a doctor recommends it.
Your policy won’t pay for a hearing aid if it isn’t recommended as a result of a hearing test.
How Much Do Hearing Aids Cost With Medicare?
Hearing aids often cost thousands, so the expenses add up quickly if you don’t have hearing coverage. For seniors on Original Medicare, switching to a Medicare Advantage plan may provide a solution. Seniors who have employer-sponsored health insurance may be able to take advantage of a Flexible Spending Account or a Health Savings Account (for those on a high deductible health plan) to manage the costs.
Private insurance companies offer Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans. Medicare Advantage plans substitute for Original Medicare (Part A and B) but provide the same Part A and B benefits along with additional services that can include dental and hearing coverage.
Most Medicare Advantage plans cover hearing services, but coverage details vary by your location and plan. GoHealth has licensed insurance agents who can help identify the plan that is the right fit for your needs.
If your Medicare Advantage plan is a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), you may be required to buy your hearing aids through a network provider. If it’s a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), you may be able to go outside of your network, though costs can be greater than with an in-network provider.
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Whether Medicaid will cover your hearing aids depends on your income and where you live. Each state has its own plan for administering Medicaid, a federal/state program founded alongside Medicare in 1965 that helps those facing a financial need or disability regardless of age.
Some Medicaid coverage is universal. Medicaid provides hearing services for children age 21 and under. For those over 21, Medicaid hearing coverage varies by state.
If you need financial assistance for hearing aids, the Hearing Loss Association of America has compiled a state-by-state guide of resources that may be able to help.
Since its inception, Medicare expressly hasn’t covered hearing aids.
A solution beyond Medicare, the FDA Reauthorization Act of 2017, set the stage for affordable over-the-counter hearing aids to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Under current FDA rules, this category of devices can be sold directly to consumers either at physical stores or online without a medical exam or a fitting by an audiologist.
But, as things now stand, the most extensive Medicare hearing aid coverage is available via Medicare Advantage.
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