When you’re ready to use a hearing aid, you probably want to know if you qualify for monetary assistance, especially if you have insurance coverage. Insurance varies widely, not only by company, but even by individual plan. In addition, some states mandate hearing care coverage. As insurance coverage may change annually, it is important to get the latest information on your specific coverage. We offer insurance counseling on an individual basis, but here you can find some general information on insurance options for hearing aids.
Why Aren’t Hearing Aids Covered by Insurance?
Actually, some insurance plans partially cover hearing aids and other hearing-related services. Yes, some policies don’t cover hearing aids at all. However, even those insurers may offer optional hearing/vision/dental supplement coverage that could include a hearing aid fittings or hearing testing.
Some States Mandate Hearing Care Coverage!
There are a handful of states that require hearing aids to be covered by insurance. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, ASHA, has a comprehensive overview of states’ regulations. Many states mandate that hearing aids be covered for children only. This is important, as most hearing loss is a lifelong condition, and treating hearing loss at an early stage is important for children’s academic success and overall quality of life.
ASHA’s list is very helpful for you to know your rights in terms of coverage. In addition, not only will state guidelines vary, remember your specific policy has its own ‘small print,’ so our team is happy to see what your benefits cover when you book an appointment.
Private Insurance Coverage Varies
Some private insurance companies may pay for hearing tests and hearing aid evaluations even if they don’t cover the hearing aids themselves. Hearing coverage may depend on age. As noted, some states require insurance companies to cover children but don’t mandate care for adults.Again, we are happy to check what is available to you.
It is up to your insurance company to decide what is in network or not, but we currently work with most insurance, including (but not limited to):
- Blue Cross Blue Shield (brands vary by state)
- United Healthcare
There are countless plans in the United States. Don’t see your provider here? We are happy to look into your policy’s coverage.
What About Medicare, Medicaid and Other Public Plans?
Medicare doesn’t usually cover hearing aids, but you may have some options based on your type of hearing loss and supplemental insurance such as Medicare Advantage Plans. These plans also vary on hearing-related coverage, but fortunately if your coverage does not include hearing care, you can opt to change policies during the annual Medicare enrollment period toward the end of each year.
According to NIDCD, Medicaid will pay for the diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss, including hearing aids, under the Early and Periodic Screening Diagnostic and Treatment service. Other state-run children’s health insurance programs may cover children’s hearing care.
Bone-Anchored Hearing Aids and Cochlear Implants
Medicare has declared bone-anchored hearing aids (BAHA) as a prosthetic device and not a hearing aid, and will cover it if other coverage policies are met. In general, these diagnostic evaluations are covered if they are ordered by a physician when it comes to helping said physician develop a treatment plan. BAHA and cochlear implants are generally handled by a near-nose-throat specialist physician.
What About Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids?
Over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids will soon become available to consumers without visiting a hearing care provider.These devices are designed for those with mild to moderate hearing loss and not programmed specifically for your loss. They will be regulated by the FDA, so look for changes related to your coverage. Before you look into these products, you may choose to take our Online Hearing Test. Although they will be available without a hearing test, it is always a good idea to have your hearing assessed so you can know what your treatment options are. You may not be a candidate for OTC devices.
Invest in Your Hearing Health
Before you need to worry about paying for hearing aids, it is important to find out what is the best option to treat your type of hearing loss. We are happy to help you ascertain that.
Our professionals can walk you through the entire process. Our team works with insurance companies every day. To get started, find a local hearing care provider today.