Hearing loss has become a common health issue, with approximately 37 million people in the US diagnosed with it. These numbers will further increase as people age. Hearing loss is inconvenient, and impacts the quality of life, requiring hefty treatments and the purchase of hearing aids. However, most insurance providers do not consider moderate hearing loss as a disability, and this makes it a little difficult for people to buy insurance coverage for hearing aids.
Let us discuss which insurance policy covers hearing aids.
Does Insurance Cover Hearing Aids?
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) reveals that currently, 20 states mandate health insurance companies to provide coverage for children’s hearing aids. In some states, the private insurance policy covers hearing exams but not hearing aids.
Currently, only five states necessitate insurance companies to cover hearing aids for both children and adults, including:
- Rhode Island
- New Hampshire
While some insurers cover hearing aids, most insurance providers deny coverage for hearing aids, as these are not counted as essential medical devices. Instead, they are considered optional rather than immediately necessary.
Why Do Insurers Deny Coverage for Hearing Aids?
Over 50% of people aged 75 or older suffer from hearing loss, and hearing aids are no longer elective. Instead, hearing aids could be a lifeline device for them, helping them communicate with their loved ones, work like others, participate in social events, and minimize depression and cognitive issues as they age.
Besides, hearing aids improve a person’s quality of life by helping them in every aspect of their daily activities. With hearing aids providing such benefits, you might wonder why insurers do not provide coverage for these devices. This is because offering coverage for hearing aids depends on whether these are essential or optional but also on their risk and reward.
Hearing aids could be expensive, highly susceptible to malfunction, and easily damaged from accidental drops and improper storage, thus resulting in hefty repair/replacement bills. This could be the reason why insurers do not cover hearing aids.
Do Medicaid and Medicare Cover Hearing Aids?
Standard Medicare insurance does not cover hearing aids, as it is designed to cover only the healthcare services (not devices) of people aged 65 or older. However, some Medicare Advantage plans cover hearing aids. If you use hearing aids to treat tinnitus, you may not get coverage. This is because Medicare does not consider tinnitus as medically essential to treat. Medicaid may cover hearing aids for young people, depending on state regulations. For example, Medicaid programs in Arizona and Colorado cover hearing aids for people below 21 years.
As every insurance provider has different terms regarding policies and coverage exclusions, it is good to talk to your insurer to determine whether they provide coverage for hearing aids and act accordingly.
Cover Your Hearing Aids with J Archer Insurance!
At J. Archer Insurance Group, we offer Medicare Advantage plans that include coverage for hearing aids. Contact our insurance professionals today to get the right Medicare advantage plan to cover your healthcare needs and medical supplies