With Health Insurance For Hearing Aids What Can You Expect To Pay Out Of Pocket
If your Medicare Advantage plan covers hearing aids, your out-of-pocket costs will depend on the plan benefits. For most plans, you will have a financial responsibility for a portion of the costs. To make an informed decision, you will have to do some research and compare Medicare Advantage plans available in your area.
To start, read about how Medicare Advantage plans work and how to join a Medicare Advantage plan. Then, visit the Find a Medicare Advantage plan site. Follow the prompts to enter your ZIP code and discover the plans available to you. The list will allow you to filter for hearing coverage, with details available under plan information on each offer. Many dont specify what you will pay. Some list copays ranging from $0 to more than $2,000. Additionally, many say that limits apply to the benefit, and some require prior authorization or advance approval from the plan for payment.
Does Medicare Cover Hearing Tests
In some cases, yes, but only if recommended by your primary care doctor or another physician. In other words, you can’t go to a hearing clinic without a referral and expect Medicare to pay for it.
Here’s how Medicare explains hearing exam coverage: “Medicare Part B covers diagnostic hearing and balance exams if your doctor or other health care provider orders them to see if you need medical treatment. You pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for your doctor’s services for covered exams, and the Part B deductible applies. Medicare doesnt cover hearing exams, hearing aids, or exams for fitting hearing aids.”
Things To Keep In Mind About Miracle
- Must purchase in-store. Miracle-Ear hearing aids and accessories are only available for purchase in-store. Though we love the face-to-face customer service that their brick-and-mortar hearing centers provide, it can be difficult for some seniors to get to and from appointments if they live far away from a center or do not drive.
- Cost. Each Miracle-Ear hearing aid will cost between $1,000 and $4,000 depending on the style and features you select. This investment is accompanied by personalized service, but if you’re looking for an inexpensive hearing aid and want to forego the in-person support, then you may want to consider from some of the best hearing aid providers.
Where Can You Get Help To Pay For Hearing Aids
There are a variety of options when it comes to getting help paying for hearing aids. If youre a veteran and you qualify for VA health benefits, your hearing tests and hearing aids may be fully covered.10
Hearing aids can also be paid for with money in a Health Savings Account or Flexible Spending Account, if you have one, while people with Medicaid may be able to qualify to get a hearing aid through their state Medicaid benefit.
Many civic and nonprofit organizations can help seniors find help to cover the cost. For example, Sertoma connects people who need hearing assistance with help. The organization has a thorough listing of national and state charitable programs and also runs a hearing aid recycling program through its 420 clubs.
Hear Now, sponsored by the Starkey Hearing Foundation, provides hearing aids to low-income individuals and some local Lions Clubs run projects that give affordable hearing aids to people in need. Reach out to your local Lions Club chapter to learn more.
Another option is to purchase a hearing aid at a warehouse club. Respondents to a Consumer Reports survey found that CR members spent around $1,926 for a pair of hearing aids at wholesale clubs versus $4,107 at name-brand hearing aid stores, $3,909 at audiology offices and $3,517 at hospitals and clinics.11 The survey also found that many survey respondents who asked for a discount got one. Yet, some patients still prefer the service they receive at a professional audiology clinic.
Direct Member Reimbursement Benefits
Plans that offer benefits through a direct member reimbursement provide you with an annual allowance to use toward the costs for covered services provided by a licensed provider of your choice. Members will pay out of pocket at the time they get care and then send us information like a receipt and reimbursement form to get reimbursed up to the plans allowance.
Don’t Miss: What Age Can You Begin Medicare
Which Medicare Plans Or Parts Cover Hearing Aids
As noted above, Part A and Part B do not cover routine hearing tests or hearing aids, but some Medicare Advantage plans do offer the benefit.
If this coverage is something youre interested in, youll need to shop for a Medicare Advantage plan that offers the benefit. The good news is that shouldnt be too hard to find one: In 2021, 88% of Medicare Advantage plans offered coverage for hearing aids.
If you want to compare Medicare Advantage plans or enroll in one consider shopping around during the annual Medicare open enrollment period, which starts October 15 and continues through December 7.
NOTE: Do not confuse Medigap with Medicare Advantage planss supplemental benefits. Although Medigap plans are referred to as Medicare supplement insurance, they do not include the supplemental benefits that Medicare Advantage plans offer. You may see a lot of marketing during Medicare open enrollment about both types of plans. A Medigap plan will not help you pay for hearing aids.
Call now to learn more about Medicare supplemental benefits with a licensed advisor.
Does Medicare Pay For Hearing Aids
Original Medicare does not pay for hearing aids typically, but it may cover hearing exams. Some Medicare Advantage plans may cover hearing aids, however. In fact, 95% of Medicare Advantage plans cover hearing aids and/or hearing exams in 2022.
- Medicare consists of different parts. Original Medicare Part A is hospital insurance and does not cover hearing aids or provide coverage for hearing exams.
- The medical insurance part of Original Medicare, Part B, may cover some hearing health expenses for beneficiaries, depending on their circumstances.
Many Medicare beneficiaries choose to receive their Part A and B benefits through a bundled Medicare Part C plan, often called a Medicare Advantage plan. These plans must offer at least the same level of coverage as Original Medicare, and they typically cover additional benefits.
Part C plans must at least match Medicare Part B hearing care coverage, and many plans also cover benefits such as prescription drugs, eye exams and glasses, dental care and hearing aids.
It’s important to note that not all Medicare Advantage plans are available in all areas, and there may not be plans available where you live that cover hearing aids.
Read Also: How To Check My Medicare Coverage
When Do You Know You Need A Hearing Aid
Obvious signs that you might need a hearing aid include:
- Trouble understanding group conversations.
- Feeling like people are always mumbling when they arent.6
- Frequently asking people to repeat themselves, especially in noisy environments.
- Nnot being able to hear well on the phone.
- Needing the television or radio volume set especially loud in order to understand.
- A ringing or hissing sound in your ears.
Normal hearing means you can hear sounds less than 25 decibels . If the softest sound you can hear is 30 decibels or louder, it may be time to consider getting a hearing aid.7
Its important to know that hearing aids dont make your hearing revert to normal. Instead, they help amplify sounds in certain pitch ranges, specifically the ranges in which youve experienced hearing loss. Its not uncommon to find that you need a hearing aid in both ears.
Wearing a hearing aid in both ears often comes with benefits, including better understanding of speech when theres background noise and you may find that youre not as worn out at the end of the day.8
What Is Monaural Hearing Aid
The word âmonauralâ refers to sound reception in one ear only. A patient with âmonaural hearing lossâ has hearing loss in just one ear. A monaural hearing aid is a device thatâs worn in just one ear to correct a patientâs hearing. Monaural hearing aids were once the standard. Indeed, as recently as 1984, about 78% of all patients who had hearing aids had monaural fittings. Some recent studies have shown that patients with monaural fittings experienced hearing loss in the ear that was not wearing a hearing aid. This is called the Monaural Hearing Aid Effect. But while some studies support the use of binaural hearing aids even for monaural hearing loss, other studies have shown that patients with hearing loss in both ears experience no statistically significant difference in terms of their hearing quality whether they use monaural or binaural hearing aids to correct the problem.
The patientâs otolaryngologist or audiologist will likely recommend the best hearing aid that will conform to the necessary specifications to guarantee coverage by Medicaid in New York. Patients must then decide whether the prescribed hearing aid provides substantial hearing and health benefits or not.
Don’t Miss: How To Change My Name On My Medicare Card
Can I Get Free Hearing Aids
Free hearing aids aren’t the norm, but you might be able to snag a free pair. This is welcome news if you’re on a Medicare plan that won’t help with the cost.
Here are some groups that may offer free or highly discounted hearing aids to seniors:
- Your insurance company
- Medicare Advantage
- Department of Veterans Affairs
- Vocational rehabilitation
Concerns Around Hearing Loss
One of the biggest concerns when someone experiences hearing loss is cost, as on average a typical hearing aid costs around $2,400, and most people need two which brings the cost up to nearly $5,000.
Since Medicare doesnt cover the cost of hearing aids, many people think hearing aids are something they simply cannot afford.
Medicare themselves state in their consumer guide that they do not cover hearing aids because of the overall expense this service coverage costs, which will then increase the cost of coverage for all Medicare patients.
The good news is that many insurance plans do cover at least some of the cost of a hearing aid. A popular nationwide group, UnitedHealthcare, happens to be one of them.
UnitedHealthcare currently serves residents of all 50 states in the US and over 130 other countries, providing all types of coverage from self-employed plans to business plans and Medicare supplement plans.
Read Also: What Is Medicare Open Enrollment
Benefit Offered Through Truhearing Relationship Should Improve Access To Hearing Tests And Increase Affordability For Hearing Aids
Medicare beneficiaries in select states will soon have better access to hearing examinations and affordable hearing aids thanks to Humana Inc. , a leading health and well-being company, teaming up with TruHearing, a hearing health care services and hearing aids company.
One in four Americans 70 years and over has a hearing impairment, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
Traditionally, hearing aids have been unaffordable and out-of-reach for many Medicare beneficiaries. According to a National Academies of Sciences report on hearing aid affordability, the average retail price of two hearing aids in 2013 was approximately $4,700. Original Medicare covers diagnostic hearing exams if a patients health care provider orders the test to see if medical treatment is needed. Otherwise, original Medicare does not cover hearing exams, hearing aids, or exams to fit hearing aids.
TruHearing hearing aids include three provider visits for fittings and evaluations within the first year of the hearing aid purchase, a 45-day trial period, a three-year extended warranty and 48 batteries per aid all at no extra cost to the member. The hearing aids offer wireless connectivity to your phone or tablet and come in a variety of sizes, colors, and styles.
Medicare beneficiaries who are interested in the hearing aid benefit should visit www.Humana-Medicare.com to research these plans and learn more about this and other plan benefits.
How We Help
Find Cheap Medicare Plans In Your Area
Hearing aid coverage varies based on the type of Medicare. Hearing aids are not covered by Original Medicare or Medigap plans. However, most Medicare Advantage plans have some coverage for hearing aids. Even with these plans, enrollees pay an average of $1,817 per hearing aid, a discount from the typical cost of $2,300.
For those who are dual-enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid, hearing aids are covered through Medicaid in 28 states. There is broader coverage across all types of Medicare for hearing exams and implantable hearing devices.
Read Also: Does Medicare Cover Home Health Services
Top Rated Assisted Living Communities By City
The majority of major insurers who offer Medicare Advantage plans have at least one plan that covers hearing aids. These insurers include Humana, Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield. However, some seniors may not be eligible for those plans, and the plans may have a higher premium than those that dont offer hearing aid coverage.
Cost Of Hearing Aids And How To Save
Hearing aids cost an average of $2,300 each. For both ears, thatâs $4,600 a pair.
Among the range of brands, Eargo tends to be a little less expensive, and Phonak hearing aids can be priced higher. Despite the sticker shock of spending thousands of dollars to manage hearing loss, savvy consumers have several ways to save money on hearing aids:
Also Check: How Soon Can You Enroll In Medicare
How Miracle Ear Stacks Up To The Competition
With dozens of hearing aids on the market at a variety of prices, shopping for a hearing aid can quickly make your head spin. Though sticking to your budget is important, you also want to pay attention to the available styles and make sure their products are suited for your level of hearing loss. Though Miracle-Ear is a high-end hearing aid with higher prices, they offer financing options and payment assistance that other major providers do not. When compared to competitors, we think Miracle-Ear stands out with its financing options, warranty, and customer-centered support.
|Hearing Aid Provider|
Care Options: In Person Care Or At
UHC allows its members to access hearing aids through two different care options in-person visit, or virtual care at home.
The company has expanded their virtual, direct to consumer offering in 2021 , by offering both the Relate brand of hearing aids, as well as Phonak devices.
According to the company, Right2You virtual care at home includes: Virtual appointments with a licensed UnitedHealthcare Hearing professional, includingremote hearing aid adjustments Custom-programmed hearing aids delivered directly to your home Three online follow-up visits after hearing aid purchase*
*Hearing aids purchased in the Basic technology level receive 1 virtual follow-up visit.
In-person care includes hearing aid fitting and support visits at a network provider in your area, including: In-person appointments with a licensed UnitedHealthcare Hearing professional, includinghearing aid adjustments Choice of 2,000+ hearing aid models and styles from the industrys top brands Three in-person follow-up visits after hearing aid purchase
Read Also: How To Be Eligible For Medicare And Medicaid
Might Medicare Part A And Part B Cover Hearing Aids In The Future
Medicare Part A, or hospital insurance, and Medicare Part B, which is medical insurance, dont presently cover hearing aids. There have been previous and present congressional budget efforts to add hearing aids as an original Medicare benefit.
In July 2021, more than 70 members of the U.S. House of Representatives introduced the Medicare Dental, Vision, and Hearing Benefit Act of 2021 to expand Medicare Part B to include hearing aids, among other items and services.
According to a University of Michigan analysis of the Health and Retirement Study, a public resource for U.S. aging data, the primary barriers to hearing aid ownership include low wealth and lack of insurance coverage.
How Do Part C Medicare Advantage Plans Cover Hearing Aids And Hearing Care
Private insurance companies sell Medicare Advantage plans. Medicare Advantage plans often include coverage for hearing, vision, and dental care, plus coverage for prescription drugs. Some comprehensive Part C plans cover hearing aids and their maintenance costs.
If you are considering enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan, it’s essential to review the policy’s cost and coverage, as this can vary considerably by individual policies. In 2022, the average premium for a Medicare Advantage plan is $62.66 per month.
Some popular Medicare Advantage plan companies include:
Don’t Miss: How Much Is Medicare Part B Now
What Does Medicare Advantage’s Hearing Aid Coverage Include
The hearing coverage through Medicare Advantage can include some or all of the following: a hearing exam, a hearing aid evaluation, a hearing aid fitting, and of course, the hearing aids themselves. Each of these services may have their own copay, though some plans may offer the exams for free. Sorry to say, the hearing aids themselves are rarely free.
Your plan may require you to get a physician referral before your hearing coverage kicks in. When it comes to the hearing aids, each plan may have preferred brands they will cover and they may also have limits as to how much they will pay.
Are Hearing Aids Covered By Medicare
No. Medicare is very clear about this on their website:
“Medicare doesn’t cover hearing aids or exams for fitting hearing aids. You pay 100% for hearing aids and exams. Some Medicare Advantage Plans offer extra benefits that Original Medicare doesnt cover – like vision, hearing, or dental. Contact the plan for more information.”
What Additional Documents Do I Need To Provide
- Current Audiogram dated within the last six months for child applicants 18 & younger.
- Medical Clearance form signed by a Medical Doctor . Adults may choose to waive their right to consult with their doctor by signing the Waiver of Medical Clearance in the Medical Clearance section of the application.
- Proof of total household income for all adult members of the household . The specific documents will be determined in the Household and Financial Information section of the application.
- Money order or cashiers check of $150 payable to the Miracle-Ear Foundation. This is a non-refundable application fee for applicants 19 years of age or older only.