Hearing aids are miracles of modern engineering and technology. Unfortunately, hearing aids are not inexpensive. Hearing aids, typically sold through audiologists' offices, can cost from $1,000 to $3,500 per ear. Normally, traditional Medicare and private insurance doesn’t cover the cost. You can save on hearing aids if you aren’t afraid to spend the time looking for savings.
While most private health insurance companies do not cover hearing aids, there are a few companies that do.
United Healthcare, for example, offers hearing aid coverage through some of their plans. A few other providers will either contribute a token amount ($500) or give you a discount if you purchase hearing aids from one of their approved providers.
If you live in Arkansas, New Hampshire or Rhode Island, you hit the hearing aid coverage jackpot. These states currently require private insurance companies to provide hearing aid coverage for adults. There are 20 states that require hearing aid coverage for children.
So, double check with your health insurance company to see if hearing aids coverage is provided, either in whole or in part.
Medicare Medigap and Medicare Advantage
Original Medicare (Part A and B) and Medigap supplemental policies don’t cover any of the cost of hearing aids. There are a few Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans like the one offered by United HealthCare that do offer coverage. AARP offers a plan as well.
To look for a plan in your area that covers hearing aids, it won’t hurt to spend some time on the internet comparing Medicare Advantage and Part C plans.
Current and retired federal employees covered by the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program may be covered. The Blue Cross Blue Shield plan covers hearing aids on a limited basis.
Most Medicaid state programs cover hearing aids. However, the requirements vary from state to state for adults. You can see if you qualify for Medicaid at Medicaid.gov.
If you aren’t covered by any insurance or cannot find private assistance, you can still save by shopping around. Some manufacturers will sell quality hearing aids direct. You will still need to work with a local audiologist for a complete hearing evaluation and adjustments to your hearing aids as necessary.
Also, let your audiologist know you need to save money. They can work with you to determine the best hearing aid model to help with your hearing loss that has the features you need but not the features you don’t need. Your audiologist is uniquely qualified to know the many models and options currently on the market and can be a valuable resource for information on saving money.