Scott Marquardt, Au.D.
Does your insurance cover you for hearing aids?
There’s no denying that finding a reliable insurance firm is like walking through a minefield blindfolded.
In the USA, we spend more on healthcare insurance than any other, and yet far too often we’re totally let down when it comes to the crunch.
Well, let us reassure you that when it comes to your hearing health, you’ve landed on a very useful page, as we’re here to help you understand whether your current provider covers you for hearing aids, and if not, who will.
You might be thinking: “What’s the big deal, they’re only ears and I’ve got enough to think about already”
Well, just consider this for a second…
Many of us are guilty of underestimating the importance of maintaining good habits to prolong our health, especially when it comes to our ears.
But, did you know that with over 35 million Americans (that’s over 11% of the population) struggling with ear-related health issues, the average American pays out over $2700 on hearing aids, with one in six investing over $5000?
I’m sure you’ll agree it’s a pretty big deal now, and that’s why it’s smart to know where you stand should you need to invest in hearing aids.
So, to get to our answer on whether your insurance covers your hearing aids, it all comes down to a few variables:
- Where you live
- What type of coverage you have
- Whether you’re coming at this from a reactive (take action when needed) or proactive (prepare in advance) angle
Let’s explore further…
Private Insurance (reactive)
We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but unfortunately, very few private insurers cover the cost of hearing aids. Although, more and more private insurances are trying to offer a hearing aid benefit, we’re noticing a growing trend.
If you’re lucky enough to live in Arkansas, New Hampshire, or Rhode Island, however, insurers have a legal obligation to provide coverage for eligible adults.
If in doubt, you must check with your current provider.
So, if you don’t live in the 3 named states, what next?
Medicare and Medicaid (reactive)
Right now, hearing tests and hearing aids are NOT covered by Medicare.
Medicaid, on the other hand, provides the cost of a hearing aid in some states but not others. To find out whether your state is included, visit the Hearing Loss Association of America – http://www.hearingloss.org/content/state-agencies
Affordable Care Act (reactive)
Under the Affordable Care Act, some states offer coverage for hearing aids and related expenses.
For the most recent information and updates, visit the federal site for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Veteran (VA) Benefits (reactive)
If you’re one of our nation’s heroes who’s served in the military, and you believe your hearing loss could be the result of that, there is a strong chance you could be treated at a VA hospital.
Your veteran benefits will cover the cost for hearing aids and associated tests, and if your symptoms are very severe causing direct interference in your daily life, you may be able to receive your hearing aids directly from the VA.
Federal Employee Assistance (reactive)
If you or your spouse work for the federal government, your insurance plan likely offers some coverage for hearing aids.
Most federal health plans cover the cost of a basic hearing aid, and employees may choose to pay for extras and upgrades that are taken directly from your pay packet.
Various Savings Accounts (proactive)
Having a contingency money pot is a very wise move, especially if that pot is to protect you from unavoidable pay-outs such as hearing aids.
Below are a list of savings accounts that will come to your aid should you need to invest in hearing aids.
1. Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)
If you have a flexible spending account, you can use that money to pay for certain out of pocket medical expenses
In most states, the cost of hearing aids and batteries qualify for reimbursement. You cover the initial cost through your FSA account, which later reimburses you.
2. Health Savings Account (HSA)
HSAs are similar to FSAs in that both types of accounts cover the costs of hearing aids and batteries
Unlike FSAs, the money in your HSA accumulates from year to year. This can help you to save toward the cost of a new hearing aid.
3. Health Reimbursement Account (HRA)
HRAs are set up and funded by your employer. Because of that, it’s up to them to decide whether hearing aids and batteries are reimbursable.
Check with your company’s benefits department to find out what’s allowable under your HRA.
And what if none of the above applies to you?
Well, you’re in luck, as we’re delighted to list some of the insurance companies we’ve partnered with that DO include hearing as part of their cover package. These are: BCBS, Humana, Aetna, Tri Care and Cigna.
We’ve chosen these very carefully based on customer service, reassurance and value, and we take pride in advising our patients on which is their best option.
When you need reassurance from your insurance, our friendly team are on board to check your benefits and ensure your insurance covers you for hearing care.
To do this, we just need some simple information and we can run the checks for you.
Complete this short form, we’ll do the background work, and we’ll give you a call to share the news. We can also book you in for a hearing test on the same day.
Your hearing health is a big deal, and we treat it as such.
Talk to us today and gain the peace of mind knowing you’re covered for your hearing care.