Written by Ari Parker — Updated: Friday, September 30, 2022
Hearing aids are expensive. For most people, a typical pair of hearing aids can range from just under $2,000 to as much as $10,000 or more.
So, does Medicare pay for hearing aids? Unfortunately, Medicare’s approach to hearing aids isn’t straightforward.
Here are the five most important things to know if you or a loved one on Medicare need hearing aids + one bonus piece of intel regarding over-the-counter hearing aids.
Traditional Medicare does cover hearing and balance examinations that are ordered by a doctor or healthcare provider.
But, Traditional Medicare does not cover hearing aids. This means that people with Part A and Part B alone—or a Medicare Supplement plan—receive no coverage for hearing aids.
Many Medicare Advantage plans cover extra benefits, sometimes including hearing aids. Not every plan is the same, so it's important to check with your Medicare advisor to ensure you're receiving the benefits you need. Also be sure to understand exactly how hearing aids are covered before making your choice because you'll likely still owe something, even on a Medicare Advantage plan with hearing aid coverage.
While the retail price of hearing aids can sometimes be more than $4,000 per hearing aid, Medicare Advantage plans can help to significantly cover this cost.
How? Medicare Advantage plans negotiate pre-set rates with particular hearing providers where you purchase your hearing aids. They pass much of the savings along to you.
Some plans require that you pay a portion of the cost of hearing aids, called a co-pay. The co-pay can be as low as a few hundred dollars for a standard hearing aid or as much as ~$2,000 for newer, top-of-the line hearing aids.
Other plans will instead offer to pay a maximum amount for hearing aids. This amount can range widely from ~$500 to more than $2,500 so it’s important to choose your plan carefully.
For plans like this, if you choose a hearing aid under the maximum allowed amount, you don’t pay anything. If you choose a more expensive hearing aid, you are responsible for the difference.
Because Medicare Advantage plans have pre-negotiated rates with hearing aid providers, many plans require you to purchase from their partner providers. When you do, you receive the most affordable prices.
But this isn’t always a requirement. Some plans will help to pay for hearing aids that you purchase from another provider. These plans provide “out-of-network” hearing coverage, and typically require you to pay a co-insurance of 30-50% of the cost of the hearing aids.
If you or a loved one consider a Medicare Advantage plan to help cover hearing aids, it’s important to choose a plan based on all of its benefits, not just the hearing benefits.
For example, you will want to check that your preferred doctors are in-network, your prescriptions are covered, and that the plan provides other supplementary benefits that may also be important to you, like dental benefits, vision coverage, and fitness memberships. We call these your 3Ps (providers, prescriptions, and priorities), and our proven 3Ps method ensures your healthcare needs are always covered.
If you have any questions about the best Medicare plan for your needs, give us a call! Unlike other advisors, who only recommend plans from insurance companies that pay them. We compare every plan from every company to ensure we find the best one for your healthcare needs.
Our advice is always free, and requires no obligation from you!
If would like a free personal consult you can schedule a call with us using by clicking here. Or you can call us directly at (855) 900-2427.
Over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids are officially approved by the FDA and will become available on October 17, 2022! We expect that this healthcare advancement will result in tremendous cost savings for individuals experiencing mild-to-moderate hearing loss. Read more about how OTC hearing aids work here.
Some Medicare Advantage plans do offer hearing aid coverage, but even with coverage, you'll likely incur some costs. Speak with a Chapter Advisor to ensure you understand the benefits you're receiving and that you're not losing another benefit you need.