Does Insurance Cover Hearing Aids?

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For the most part, private insurance doesn’t cover hearing aids for adults, although most do cover hearing aids for children. A few private insurance companies run hearing clinics that include coverage for hearing loss devices, but these are the exception and not the rule. In most states, Medicare doesn’t cover hearing aids, but in some states, patients with hearing loss in both ears are covered, and Medicare Advantage plans do provide coverage that includes some or all of the costs related to obtaining a hearing aid.

Most older adults suffer from some degree of hearing loss and need the aid of a hearing device. Hearing aids are expensive though; they can run as high as $6,000 and need to be replaced when they malfunction, so they are usually not a one-time expense.

Check With Your Insurance Provider

Those who aren’t sure if their insurance provider covers hearing aids should call them and ask a representative. They may also check with their primary care doctor about whether their insurance would cover a referral to a hearing-loss specialist, such as otolaryngologists and audiologists. Some insurance companies cover the office visit with a specialist but not the hearing test or the hearing aids. Some companies cover the hearing test but not the devices, and some won’t cover any hearing-loss related expenses.

Why Hearing Aids Aren’t Covered

Private health insurance companies calculate premiums based on risk. They provide coverage for health issues that only occur in a small percentage of the population. Because most older adults suffer from hearing loss, the risk is too great to make it affordable. This is especially true since hearing aids are costly and require repeated replacement. Private insurance companies that run hearing clinics control the costs by restricting eligibility, providing the least expensive hearing devices and limiting the number of replacements. Medicaid coverage for hearing aids has similar restrictions.

States That Have Medicaid Coverage for Hearing Aids

The following information is general. Each state’s Medicaid website has the details regarding Medicaid coverage for that state.

  • Alaska provides coverage for office visits, hearing tests and hearing aids when prescribed by a doctor.
  • California provides coverage but only with a diagnosis from an otolaryngologist.
  • Connecticut provides coverage but only through specific hearing aid vendors.
  • Florida covers one hearing aid per ear every three years.
  • Hawaii covers hearing aids and replacement once every three years.
  • Idaho covers annual exams and hearing tests and hearing aids for children under 21.
  • Illinois provides coverage for patients who meet specific hearing loss criteria.
  • Indiana provides coverage for patients who meet specific hearing loss criteria and only covers certain types of devices.
  • Iowa only provides coverage for hearing aids for people who meet certain vocational, medical or lifestyle requirements, such as the blind.
  • Kansas provides coverage and replacement every four years.
  • Massachusetts has some plans covering hearing aids that include replacement every five years.
  • Minnesota covers hearing aids, tests and even batteries.
  • Missouri only covers those who are blind, pregnant or live in a nursing facility.
  • Montana provides coverage for patients who meet specific hearing loss criteria.
  • Nebraska covers hearing aids and replacement once every four years.
  • Nevada provides coverage for patients who meet specific hearing loss criteria.
  • New Hampshire has coverage for patients who meet specific hearing loss criteria.
  • New Jersey provides coverage through some plans, and coverage may vary from plan to plan.
  • New Mexico provides coverage and replacement every four years.
  • New York provides coverage for patients who meet specific hearing loss criteria.
  • North Dakota provides coverage for patients who meet specific hearing loss criteria.
  • Ohio covers certain types of hearing aids and replacement every four years.
  • Oregon provides coverage for patients who meet specific hearing loss criteria.
  • Rhode Island provides coverage for patients who meet specific hearing loss criteria.
  • South Dakota provides coverage for patients who meet specific hearing loss criteria.
  • Texas covers hearing aids, replacements every five years and even batteries.
  • Vermont provides coverage for patients who meet specific hearing loss criteria.
  • Wisconsin provides coverage and replacement every three years.
  • Wyoming provides coverage for patients who meet specific hearing loss criteria.

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