More than 11% of the US population (over 35 million Americans) struggle with some form of hearing-related health issues, many of which require hearing aids. Since the average user pays out more than $2700 on hearing aids and one out of every six invest in excess of $5000, it is no surprise that our patients are concerned about insurance coverage.
Will your insurance cover your hearing aids?” Because that is not an easy question to answer, we have taken the time to provide some basic information related to insurance coverage for hearing aids and hearing care.
Several Variables Determine Insurance Coverage for Hearing Aids
Where you live and what type of insurance coverage you have are variables involved in determining whether or not you can expect coverage for hearing aids. However, this can also be affected by whether you take a reactive or proactive approach to insurance coverage, in other words, whether you have planned for hearing care coverage or left it as a low priority.
Arkansas, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island are the only states in which insurers have a legal obligation to provide hearing aid coverage for eligible adults on their private insurance. So, unless you have added a hearing care provider to your private insurance policy, you cannot expect any benefit to be paid out by your insurance company to cover hearing aids.
Medicare and Medicaid
Though Medicare covers neither hearing tests nor hearing aids, Medicaid does pick up some or part of hearing care and/or hearing aid expenses in various states. According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, Medicaid in California does provide coverage with some limitations, including:
- Hearing exams, hearing aids, repair, and part replacement
- Replacement of lost, stolen, or irreparably damaged hearing aids and earmolds
- Testing, exam, or follow-up for cochlear implants
Affordable Care Act Coverage
Coverage for hearing aids and related expenses under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are offered in some states. However, California residents insured by ACA will not be able to take advantage of any benefits for hearing care or hearing aids.
Veterans (VA) Benefits
Those who are able to demonstrate that their hearing loss was caused by activities in which they were involved during their active military service can expect VA coverage. VA benefits cover the cost of hearing aids and associated tests in a VA facility if hearing loss directly interferes with your daily living tasks.
Federal Employee Assistance
Hearing care and hearing aid coverage is better for federal employees and their spouses than most other insurance types. The Federal Employee Assistance package covers the cost of basic hearing aids while allowing the employee or spouse to pay for extras and upgrades through a deduction from the employee’s pay packet.
Various Types of Savings Accounts
Americans tend to place hearing health as a low priority or underestimate its value when purchasing insurance coverage. However, those who recognize its importance can take measures to have funds available if hearing aids become necessary.
Setting money aside in a Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), a Health Savings Account (HSA), or a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) ahead of time makes it easier to cover the costs.
Pacific Hearing Inc. Helps Check Your Insurance Coverage
Wading through the information and jargon thrown at you by an insurance company represents a significant challenge for most individuals. To better serve our clients, Pacific Hearing has an insurance specialist available to check your insurance coverage for you – not only for your hearing aids but for hearing and balance testing too.
It is just one more way we can encourage our patients to invest in better hearing they’ll enjoy from wearing hearing aids.
Contact us with your questions and concerns related to insurance coverage.