Written by Ari Parker — Updated: Thursday, March 30, 2023
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.
This leaves many seniors asking, "Will Medicare pay for hearing aids?" Unfortunately, Medicare’s approach to hearing aid coverage isn’t straightforward.
Here are the five most important questions to ask if you or a loved one on Medicare need hearing aids, plus one bonus piece of intel regarding over-the-counter hearing aids.
Original Medicare (Part A & Part B) covers hearing and balance examinations that are ordered by a doctor or healthcare provider, but it does not cover hearing aids. This means that for those on Original Medicare (with or without a Medigap plan), Medicare does not pay for hearing aids, in part or in whole.
Some Medicare Advantage plans do offer hearing aid coverage, but even with coverage, you'll incur some costs. 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 that has 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 reduce this cost.
How? Medicare Advantage plans negotiate pre-set rates with particular hearing providers where you purchase your hearing aids, passing a ton of savings on 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 if covering the cost of hearing aids is a priority for you.
For plans like this, if you choose a hearing aid under the maximum amount your Medicare plan will pay, 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 benefits that may also be important to you, like dental benefits, vision coverage, and fitness memberships.
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 specific health and financial 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 became 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.