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How Much of Hearing Aid Costs Will Insurance Companies Cover?

hearing aids
Photo by Ike Valdez (Flickr)

When a person is diagnosed with hearing loss, one of the first options that doctors suggest to compensate for the loss is the use of hearing aids. The first question people ask after hearing this recommendation is often, “How much will hearing aids cost?” That question is usually quickly followed by, “Does insurance cover hearing aids?” But while the answers to these questions can vary, they shouldn’t get in the way of getting the assistance you need and improving your quality of life.

Does Insurance Cover Hearing Aids?

The answer to whether hearing aids are covered by health insurance plans has a mixed answer. Currently, Medicare does not cover hearing aids for children or adults, but Medicaid often does provide coverage for adults and is mandated to cover the costs of hearing assistive devices for children. As for private insurance plans, sometimes there are hearing aids covered by insurance, but the best recommendation that we can make is to examine your plan and call your plan provider with any questions. Plans vary from state to state and provider to provider, so it really depends on your plan whether or not there are hearing aids covered by insurance that would be appropriate for you and your condition.

Why Are Hearing Aids Not Covered by Insurance?

The reason why insurance companies don’t always cover hearing aids depends on who you ask. Some say it is because hearing aids aren’t always considered to be medically necessary. Others may explain that insurance companies won’t cover hearing aids because they can be expensive and typically need to be replaced every three to five years. For these reasons and others, even a single hearing aid covered by insurance is a rare thing, much less two hearing aids covered by insurance. If your insurance plan does not cover hearing aids, though, there are other options that can help you.

Financial Assistance for Hearing Aids

Financial help for hearing aids varies from state to state as well as from organization to organization, so it is essential that you do your homework. The first thing to understand is that your insurance plan may cover some part of the cost of hearing aids. That amount may apply toward the total cost of hearing aids or may be a fixed amount per ear. Your health plan may also offer discounts on hearing aids;if they do, make sure you read the fine print and understand any restrictions that may apply to your situation.

If hearing aids are required for your work, you could be in luck. Make sure to check with your state vocational rehabilitation office,as they may be able to offer you financial assistance to help pay for hearing aids when they are required for educational or vocational reasons. It’s also worthwhile to research the many organizations that provide financial assistance for hearing aids. A large number of nonprofits offer help for those who need hearing aids but can’t afford them, from national organizations to local community groups.

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