Medical News Today reports on Medicare Parts A and B do not cover hearing aids or other related services, such as exams for fitting hearing aids. However, Medicare Part B may cover part of the cost of general hearing exams to aid in medical treatment when the ordering doctor deems it necessary.
Does Medicare cover hearing aids?
Medicare Parts A and B do not cover hearing aids or other related services, such as exams for fitting hearing aids. However, Medicare Part B may cover part of the cost of general hearing exams to aid in medical treatment when the ordering doctor deems it necessary.
Medicare Parts A and B do not cover hearing aids for older adults or people who have Medicare due to a disability.
Many people with hearing loss would benefit from using hearing aids. These devices are vital for the overall well-being of deaf people and individuals with partial hearing loss, for whom they can significantly improve the quality of life.
In this article, we look at which parts of Medicare may cover the costs of hearing loss treatment and diagnosis.
Cover for hearing aids in 2020
As of 2020, Medicare Parts A and B do not cover hearing aids. This may change, however, due to a government bill that is currently under consideration.
According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, the HR 3 bill that Congress passed in 2019 enables the government to negotiate prescription drug costs. If the Senate passes the bill, the savings from the lower prices will cover hearing care, which might include hearing aids.
However, HR 3 has not yet passed the Senate, and it may not successfully become law.
Another bill called the Medicare Audiologist Access and Services Act of 2019 is also a step in the right direction for coverage of audiology services and, potentially, hearing aids. However, the act has yet to become law, and its fate is unknown.
Legislators and advocacy groups are moving in a positive direction regarding hearing aids. However, it is currently not clear whether Medicare will change its policies and cover these devices in the years to come.
Medicare Part B and hearing aids
Medicare Part B does not cover hearing aids or exams for a hearing aid fitting. Typically, Medicare Part B covers medically necessary services that treat an active medical condition.
Although Medicare Part B does not cover hearing aids, it does cover hearing exams that a doctor recommends for diagnosing a hearing problem. However, the individual on the policy is still responsible for paying 20% of the cost.
They will also need to pay part of any outstanding deductible on the policy. People who attend a hearing exam in the outpatient department of a hospital will need to cover a co-payment directly to the healthcare provider.
Medicare Part B also covers bone-anchoring hearing aids (BAHA). Medicare classifies the BAHA as a prosthetic device and not a hearing aid.
A BAHA is a surgically implanted device that helps people with certain types of hearing loss. It works differently than traditional hearing aids. A BAHA transmits sound waves through bone conduction, stimulating the cochlea and bypassing the middle and outer ear.
It is important to understand that a BAHA is not the same as a traditional hearing aid. It may be an option for some people with certain types of hearing loss, however.
Does Medicare Advantage cover hearing aids?
Medicare Part C, also called Medicare Advantage, is an insurance plan that private insurance companies offer to replace Medicare Parts A and B. However, the cost and coverage vary by plan.
Some Medicare Advantage plans cover hearing aids and the associated costs, such as maintenance.
People who are considering Medicare Advantage should compare the benefits of individual plans before selecting the best option for their needs.
How much does a hearing aid usually cost?
The cost of hearing aids varies. According to a 2015 report by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, the average cost of one hearing aid is about $2,400.
Some people may need two hearing aids, which would put the cost at $4,800.
The high cost of hearing aids may make it difficult for some people to treat their hearing loss. However, these devices can considerably improve the quality of life for people with hearing conditions.