Medicare and Hearing Aids
Hearing aids are prescribed to patients who suffer from the loss of hearing due to older age, hereditary factors, or a disease affecting the middle or inner ears. There are a variety of hearing aids available today.
The latest advancements in the medical and technology field have made it possible for the patients with hearing impairment to listen clearly even the softly spoken words.
If you or your family member has been advised to use hearing aids, read on to find whether the costs of the device would be covered by Medicare.
Cost & Coverage of Hearing Aids
The design of some hearing aids is such that the device can be easily concealed behind the ears. This allows the patients the choice of whom they want to reveal they are wearing a hearing aid and whom they do not.
However, the costs of hearing aids vary greatly depending on their size, design, and the acuity of hearing provided. The smaller-sized aids that can be concealed easily usually cost higher and vice versa.
Original Medicare and a few Medicare Supplement Plans usually do not cover hearing aids. Even most Medigap plans do not cover hearing aids. The other costs related to hearing impairment such as routine hearing examination, and fittings for the aids are also not covered by Medicare.
This means without additional insurance, you will have to pay the entire expenses of routine hearing exams, hearing aids, and fittings.
However, Medicare Part B does cover the diagnostic tests for hearing assessment when the doctor has prescribed them as necessary for evaluating the possibility of hearing loss due to injury or illness.
If your physician has recommended a diagnostic hearing test, you would have to pay 20% of the amount approved by Medicare, in addition to the Medicare Part B deductible.
However, to be eligible for this coverage, you have to make sure the physician accepts Medicare assignment, which means he is participating in the Medicare program.
When the tests are recommended by a non-participating doctor, the entire costs of the tests have to be borne by the patient.
However, even when the results of these diagnostic tests indicate the need to use a hearing aid, the cost of the device is not covered by Medicare.
Medicare Advantage plans
Medicare Advantage plans cover hearing aids and hearing exams. These plans usually offer benefits that are not included in Original Medicare Part A and B.
However, since each Medicare Advantage plan offers different coverage, patients are advised to compare plans carefully to check which one fits their medical needs.
If you have healthcare insurance that covers a hearing examination, such as Medicaid or a Medicare Advantage plan, follow the instructions specified by the plan regarding the coverage.
Also, make sure you have read the plan documents carefully as some plans cover the cost of hearing aids only when the device is purchased from the list of recommended suppliers or through a certain process.
Qualified residents of some states are eligible for the coverage for hearing aids through Medicaid and other state programs. You can check the website of the Hearing Loss Association of America to find the state-specific coverage or hearing aids.
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