Does Medicare cover hearing aids and exams?

Does Medicare cover hearing aids and exams?

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In this article we’ll discuss:

Does Medicare Cover Hearing Aids?

Hearing loss is a fairly common occurrence as you get older. Buying a hearing aid can be extremely beneficial if this occurs. The big question beneficiaries want to know is: Does Medicare cover hearing aids? Unfortunately, the answer is no.

does medicare cover hearing aids

Medicare is pretty clear about hearing aid coverage on their website. The official Medicare website explains with the following details:

Medicare doesn't cover hearing aids or exams for fitting hearing aids. You pay 100% for hearing aids and exams. Some Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C) offer extra benefits that Original Medicare doesn’t cover - like vision, hearing, or dental. Contact the plan for more information.

why doesn’t medicare cover hearing aids?

Why are hearing aids not covered by Medicare? The Medicare Act of 1965 excluded hearing aid coverage with the premise that hearing aids are ‘routinely needed and low in cost.’ This implied that the insured would be responsible for buying their hearing aids. 

It should be noted that times were different in 1965. We’ve come a long way with regards to hearing health and detection. Seniors are also living longer today compared to 1965. That means not as many seniors were diagnosed with hearing deficits at that time.

does medicare cover hearing tests?

There are some situations where Medicare will pay for your hearing test. However, this coverage will occur only if it has been recommended by your primary physician or another doctor. This means that can’t show up to any hearing clinic and expect Medicare to pay for it without having a referral.

Here is how Medicare breaks down their hearing exam coverage:

Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers diagnostic hearing and balance exams if your doctor or other health care provider orders them to see if you need medical treatment. Your costs in Original Medicare: You pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for your doctor's services for covered exams, and the Part B deductible applies. In a hospital outpatient setting , you also pay the hospital a copayment.

Frequently Asked Questions

$0. Medicare does not pay for hearing aids.

If you're on Medicare, you will pay full price for your hearing aids.  Medicare does not pay for hearing aids.

Healthyhearing reports that the average price that you'll pay for a pair of digital hearing aids is approximately $1,000 - $6,000 for each device.

Medigap plans typically do not have any hearing-aid coverage.

If you are on a Medicare Advantage plan (MAPD) from a private insurer, the company may provide some coverage for the cost of your hearing aids. You will need to check with your MAPD plan and contact your provider.

Veterans have a great opportunity to help to pay for their hearing aids. Medicare won't pay, but the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) may if you meet the criteria for VA health benefits. If you do, you may be eligible for paid-in-full hearing aid devices and testing.

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Edited by

Paul Lane

Insurance Editor

Paul Lane has been a licensed insurance agent for over a decade. He is also a financial professional and holds a Series 6 securities license. He has experience editing insurance websites and blogs with a focus on auto, homeowners, renters, life insurance, disability and supplemental insurance products.

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