Q: Does Insurance Cover Hearing Aids?
Asked by Anonymous on October 11, 2017
While most private health insurance companies do not cover the cost of hearing aids, there are a few policies which do. Check with your insurance provider to find out if your plan includes coverage for hearing aids or hearing loss exams. Because consumer demand for these devices is on the rise, insurance coverage for hearing aids is slowly becoming more common and a number of states have proposed legislation to help people cover their cost. Also, some insurance plans offer discounts on hearing aids purchased through certain suppliers.
Although the Affordable Care Act requires insurers to cover the cost of audiological exams, the law does not require providers to cover the cost of hearing aid devices.
Coverage Varies By State
About 20 states in the U.S. require insurers to cover the cost of hearing aids for children under the age of 18, but only three – New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Arkansas – require health insurance plans to offer similar coverage for adults. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) details coverage policies for each state.
In general, Original Medicare (Parts A and B) and most Medicare Supplement (or Medigap) plans do not cover the cost of hearing aids, routine hearing exams, or device fittings.
Some Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) cover hearing exams and hearing aids.
Medicaid coverage varies by state. Some state Medicaid programs offer hearing-related benefits, including coverage for hearing aids; other states don’t. The Hearing Loss Association of America website lists state-specific information regarding Medicaid coverage for hearing aids.
VA healthcare benefits include coverage for hearing aids if a veteran’s hearing loss is connected to their military service, or related to a medical condition for which they’re receiving treatment at a VA hospital. Veterans can also get hearing aids through the VA if their hearing loss is severe enough so as to interfere with their daily activities and functioning.
Flexible Savings Accounts (FSA) + Health Savings Accounts (HSA)
Most FSAs and HSAs allow policyholders to be reimbursed for the cost of hearing aids and batteries. Unlike FSAs, money in your HSA accumulates from year to year, allowing you to save toward their cost.
Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRA)
HRAs are funded through the workplace, so it is the prerogative of your employer to determine if hearing aids and batteries are reimbursable expenses. Check with your company’s benefits administrator or HR department to find out if hearing aids are considered a qualifying expense.
Taking the Next Steps
If hearing aids are a frequent necessity, then consider finding a plan that provides coverage for it. Search our database of individual health insurance plans to find the right plan for you.