Does Medicare Pay for Hearing Aids, Hearing Exams, or Balance Exams?
Medicare will pay for diagnostic hearing and balance exams only if your health care provider orders it to see if you need medical treatment.
Your Medicare Part B (medical insurance) is what covers the diagnostic hearing and balance exams, so if you’re enrolled in Original Medicare, you have this benefit.
In many audiology practices, a diagnostic hearing and balance exam can cost upwards of $100, so it’s quite nice that Medicare picks up the cost as long as your doctor orders it.
Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover hearing aids, hearing exams, or exams for fitting hearing aids. You do pay 100% for hearing exams and hearing aids, and this is where the real expenses come in.
A good set of hearing aids can often cost around $5,000. If you see an audiologist at a family-owned practice, you’re more likely to be met with payment options, such as being able to pay half up front and the other half after a couple months.
If financing is a real concern for you, always ask if there is any flexibility before denying yourself the gift of better hearing.
Dental, Vision, and Hearing Insurance Plans
There are supplemental insurance plans that cover dental, hearing, and vision costs – three common expenses that are not covered by Medicare.
These plans don’t require you to answer any health questions, which means you are guaranteed to be accepted if you apply.
You can generally choose how extensive you want your benefits to be. For example, you can choose a policy with a $1,000 maximum benefit for the year or a $1,500 maximum benefit. However, many of these policies favor dental coverage over hearing coverage, so while you can receive dental coverage immediately, you might have a 12-month waiting period before you can receive any hearing benefits.
In essence, most of the Dental, Vision, and Hearing insurance plans are made to cover dental and vision first, and the hearing benefit is an added bonus of sorts.
Does Medicare Advantage Cover Hearing Aids and Hearing Exams?
Medicare Advantage plans are all unique – each private insurance company offers different types of benefits at different costs.
While Medicare Advantage plans are only required to cover everything Medicare covers, many of them offer extra benefits, such as prescription drug coverage and hearing coverage.
In Decatur, IL, there are Medicare Advantage plans with hearing benefits. For example, one plan covers 1 routine hearing exam for in-network providers every year, and another Medicare Advantage plan covers all costs for in-network providers, while out of network providers require a 50% coinsurance.
Keep in mind that when you’re looking at health insurance plans, you want to take into consideration all of the plan’s benefits and costs – not just how much of the hearing costs will be covered.
Sometimes, Medicare Advantage plans can have high out of pocket maximums and small networks, so be sure to weigh your options appropriately.
One of our licensed agents can help you consider your options if hearing coverage is important to you. Simply click the button below to get started!
Your Guide to Medicare Parts A & B
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