Does Medicare Cover Hearing Aids?
One questions we hear a lot at Medicare Life Health is “Does Medicare Cover Hearing Aids?
- The simple answer is NO.
- However, some Medicare Advantage Plans will. Let’s look at both.
Original Medicare Will Not Cover Hearing Aids.
As an exception, Medicare will cover any hearing exams ordered by your doctor for medical treatment. Here is the direct quote from the Medicare and You Guidebook. (Please see our Medicare and You User Guide for more information.)
“Hearing and balance exams – Medicare covers these exams if your doctor or other health care provider orders them to see if you need medical treatment. You pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount, and the Part B deductible applies. In a hospital outpatient setting, you also pay the hospital a copayment.”Medicare and You 2020 Guidebook
What about Medigap (Supplement) Plans?
No, Medicare Supplement Plans (also called Medigap) do not cover hearing exams or hearing aids. These supplements cover the costs of covered services that Medicare leaves for beneficiaries to pay. (For example, coinsurances, co-pays and deductibles.)
They are not structured to pay for extra services like hearing, dental, vision, wellness or long-term care.
Do Medicare Advantage Plans Cover Hearing Aids?
All Medicare Advantage Plans are designed differently, but most of them offer benefits for exams and hearing aids. Depending on the plan, you may find covered, or partially covered, hearing exams. In addition, many plans will have co-pays or coinsurance on hearing aids.
As an example, one MA plan might offer 0% co-pay on a hearing exam and a co-payment on a hearing aid. They might have two kinds of hearing aids with different amounts you pay as your portion for either a standard hearing aid or a more advanced one.
Also, some Medicare Advantage Plans will contract with specific hearing aid companies to offer discounted or even fully covered hearing aids if you use these providers.
Summary & Action Steps
In summary, if you are in need of hearing aids, Original Medicare and Medigap Plans will not cover them. However, a Medicare Advantage plan often will.
With hearing aids often costing thousands of dollars, it can make sense to consider a Medicare Advantage plan where you can get discounted hearing benefits and hearing aids.
How to Get Started
- Interested? Talk to an agent to learn more about plans with hearing aid options.
- Or, to learn more about Medicare Advantage Plans – how they work and what they cover – please click here.
- If you need more information on how to choose a Medicare Plan, please start with this article.
- Finally, of you need help applying for Medicare, click here.