Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) does not cover hearing aids or routine hearing exams. Medicare Part B may cover diagnostic hearing exams if they are considered medically necessary by your primary care physician.
However, many Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) cover hearing aids and other routine hearing care. Most plans also offer other benefits that are not covered by Original Medicare, such as prescription drug coverage.
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Medicare Advantage plans are sold by private insurance companies and offer the same benefits covered by Medicare Part A and Part B under one plan.
Some Medicare Advantage plans may offer additional benefits, such as coverage for hearing. These hearing benefits could potentially include, but aren’t limited to:
If you need coverage for hearing exams or hearing aids, you can consider enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan that offers hearing coverage. Not all plans are available in all locations.
Some Medicare Advantage plans require a monthly premium, while and some plans may be available in your area that offer $0 premiums.
Deductibles, cost-sharing and the amount of hearing coverage offered will vary by plan.
The network of participating hearing doctors and pharmacies can also differ by plan and location.
If you have Medicare and need help paying for a hearing aid, there are some programs that might be able to offer some assistance.
Cochlear implants are permanent electronic devices that help those with severe hearing loss.
Unlike hearing aids which amplify sound, cochlear implants help provide sound signals to the brain by replacing the function of the damaged inner ear. Cochlear implants are surgically placed behind the ear.
Medicare Part B sometimes covers cochlear implants if they are considered medically necessary by a doctor and if you meet certain qualifications.
Hearing loss is one of the most common health conditions affecting older adults.
In fact, it’s estimated that as many as one out of every three people ages 65 to 74 has some form of hearing loss, and that number goes up to nearly 50 percent of people above the age of 75.1
Hearing loss can greatly affect the quality of life for an older adult.
Hearing loss has been linked to stress, depression, loneliness and low self-esteem due to the difficulty of communicating and the embarrassment, insecurity and isolation that can result.
Hearing loss can also cause relationships with spouses, children, grandchildren and friends to suffer.
Some Medicare Advantage plans that offer coverage for hearing aids may be available in your area.
In 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a ruling that granted Medicare Advantage plans even more freedom in the benefits they can offer.
Some of the additional benefits some Medicare Advantage plans may offer in 2019 and beyond include:
To find out more about your options and to compare plans that are available where you live, call to speak with licensed insurance today.
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1 National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. Hearing Loss and Older Adults. Retrieved Aug. 2019, from www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing-loss-older-adults.
MedicareAdvantage.com is a website owned and operated by TZ Insurance Solutions LLC. TZ Insurance Solutions LLC and TruBridge, Inc. represent Medicare Advantage Organizations and Prescription Drug Plans having Medicare contracts; enrollment in any plan depends upon contract renewal.
Plan availability varies by region and state. For a complete list of available plans, please contact 1-800-MEDICARE (TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048), 24 hours a day/7 days a week or consult www.medicare.gov.
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