Medicare Part B, which you subscribe to when you turn 65, covers diagnostic hearing and balance exams as long as your doctor’s orders these tests to see if you need medical treatment
Medicare does not cover hearing exams (routine, not medically necessary), hearing aids, or exams for fitting hearing aids.
Medicare A & B you will be responsible for:
- You pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for the doctor’s services for covered exams, and the Part B deductable
- You pay 100% for exams and hearing aids.
- As a hospital outpatient you also pay the hospital a copayment.
Hearing aids are expensive and range from $1200 for a low-end device to $3,500 or more for a higher-end one, and 80 percent of wearers need two. Battery costs are $30 to $150 per year. You can and should try to bargain to get a price break.
Here are some helpful links for you. Each state varies so don’t hesitate to ask your doctors for recommendations.
The Hearing Loss Association of America’s website has information by state.
For Veteran benefits. Vets get hearing aids if their hearing loss is connected to their military service or linked to a medical condition treated at a VA hospital. Veterans also can if their hearing loss is severe enough to interfere with activities of daily life http:///usa.bestsoundtechnology.com/siemens-hearing-products/govt-services/
Federal employee assistance and their families are entitled to coverage through some insurance plans, Health plans do pay for basic hearing aids and employees pay for extras and upgrades themselves.
Nonprofits. Sertoma helps people with hearing problems and runs a hearing aid recycling program, through its 420 clubs (1-816-333-8300). HEAR Now, sponsored by the Starkey Hearing Foundation provides hearing aids for people with limited income. Clients pay for evaluations and a fee of $125 per aid.
Private insurers. Few private insurance companies cover hearing aids, but three states — New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Arkansas — require that insurers provide coverage for adults. New Hampshire insurance companies are required to cover the cost of no less than $1,500 per hearing aid once every five years. Rhode Island requires individual and group insurance policies to provide $700 coverage per individual hearing aid every three years for those over age 19. And in Arkansas, insurance companies are required to offer coverage to employers in the state. If a company takes advantage of this, the health plan must provide coverage of no less than $1,400 per ear every three years.
The Affordable Care Act in a few states include some coverage for hearing aids and related services, under their health insurance exchanges. Information about this coverage is available from the Hearing Loss Association of America and through the Department of Health and Human Services. This government site gives additional information on proposed essential health benefits benchmark plans by state.