Approximately one out of every three people between the ages of 65 and 74 suffer from hearing loss, and the number jumps to one out of every two people age 75 and over.1
Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) does not provide coverage for routine hearing exams or hearing aids, however.
Medicare beneficiaries who want routine hearing coverage can consider enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan (Medicare Part C) that offers hearing benefits.
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Original Medicare does not provide coverage for the cost of hearing aids, hearing exams or fittings for hearing aids.
In other words, Original Medicare does not provide coverage for routine or preventive hearing care, or for natural, age-related hearing loss. Only in the event of an emergency or during testing for other conditions might Original Medicare provide any coverage for hearing-related treatments or procedures.
Without Medicare coverage for hearing care services, a Medicare beneficiary could be left to pay for any necessary hearing aids, exams, treatments and prescription drugs out of pocket.
Below is a breakdown of what those services and equipment might cost.
The costs provided are typical costs and are not intended to illustrate known prices for hearing care where you live. These services could come with higher or lower out-of-pocket costs than those listed below.
If your doctor accepts Medicare assignment and orders a hearing and balance test, your Medicare Part B medical insurance benefits will help cover the cost of your exam.
After you meet your Part B deductible (which is $233 per year in 2022), you are responsible for 20 percent of the Medicare-approved amount for the exam.
Be sure to ask your health care provider why they are recommending your hearing test and whether Medicare will cover it. Medicare Part B does not cover exams that are meant for fitting your hearing aids.
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All Medicare Advantage plans offer the same benefits as Medicare Part A and Part B, except for hospice care, which is still covered by Medicare Part A.
Some Medicare Advantage plans may also offer hearing benefits not found in Original Medicare, such as:
Because Medicare Advantage plans differ in their coverage and service area, consumers can shop around and may be able to find a plan that offers the hearing coverage they need.
Many Medicare Advantage plans also provide prescription drug coverage, which may be able to help cover the costs of any drugs required for ear infections or other hearing treatments.
A Medicare Advantage plan with hearing benefits could be a good fit for Medicare beneficiaries looking for hearing coverage.
Find a Medicare Advantage plan in your area. Call to speak to a licensed insurance agent who can guide you through the plans sold where you live and detail the hearing benefits that those plans may offer.
Speak with a licensed insurance agent
1 Hearing Loss and Older Adults. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. Retrieved June 28, 2018, from https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing-loss-older-adults.
2 Phillips, Cameron. When Should I Get My Hearing Tested and How Often? July 15, 2016. The National Campaign for Better Hearing. Retrieved from http://campaignforbetterhearing.ca/2016/07/when-should-i-get-my-hearing-tested-and-how-often.
3 How Much Does a Hearing Test Cost? CostHelperHealth. Retrieved June 28, 2018 from http://health.costhelper.com/hearing-test.html.
4 Calderone, Julia. 5 Ways to Cut Hearing Aid Costs. Consumer Reports. Feb. 2, 2017. Retrieved from https://www.consumerreports.org/hearing-aids/save-on-cost-of-prescription-hearing-aids.
5 National Academies of Sciences Release Report on Hearing Aid Accessibility, Affordability. The Hearing Review. June 2, 2016. Retrieved from http://www.hearingreview.com/2016/06/national-academies-sciences-release-report-hearing-aid-accessibility-affordability.
Christian Worstell is a senior Medicare and health insurance writer with MedicareAdvantage.com. He is also a licensed health insurance agent. Christian is well-known in the insurance industry for the thousands of educational articles he’s written, helping Americans better understand their health insurance and Medicare coverage.
Christian’s work as a Medicare expert has appeared in several top-tier and trade news outlets including Forbes, MarketWatch, WebMD and Yahoo! Finance.
Christian has written hundreds of articles for MedicareAvantage.com that teach Medicare beneficiaries the best practices for navigating Medicare. His articles are read by thousands of older Americans each month. By better understanding their health care coverage, readers may hopefully learn how to limit their out-of-pocket Medicare spending and access quality medical care.
Christian’s passion for his role stems from his desire to make a difference in the senior community. He strongly believes that the more beneficiaries know about their Medicare coverage, the better their overall health and wellness is as a result.
A current resident of Raleigh, Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.
If you’re a member of the media looking to connect with Christian, please don’t hesitate to email our public relations team at Mike@tzhealthmedia.com.