Hearing aids may seem unaffordable to many seniors, leaving them wondering if Medicare covers the costs. And, if not, how will they pay for their hearing aid costs, that can range from somewhat affordable to several thousand dollars. Here are the answers to how Medicare health plans cover hearing aids.
Does Medicare Cover Hearing Aids?
No, Medicare does not cover hearing aids. According to the Center for Medicare Services (CMS) “Medicare doesn’t cover routine hearing exams, hearing aids, or exams for fitting hearing aids.” It will, however, cover certain diagnostic hearing tests. If you qualify for a diagnostic hearing test under Original Medicare, you will still pay the Part B deductible plus 20% of the test.
This article was originally written on May 13, 2015 and most recently updated on Apr 04, 2019
Does Medigap Cover Hearing Aids?
While Medigap offers additional coverage beyond Original Medicare, Medigap usually does not cover hearing aids. If you have Medigap plan C or F, it will cover 100% of your Medicare Part B deductible and will pay 100% of the hearing diagnostic test’s coinsurance. This means that you would not pay anything for the diagnostic test.
The exceptions that we can find are in the state of California and Nevada. Anthem Blue Cross now offers a Medigap plan F that covers $750 towards hearing aids each year. To learn more about this plan visit Innovative Plan F. Blue Shield of California also brings its Blue Shield Plan F Extra.
Does Medicare Advantage Cover Hearing Aids?
Medicare Advantage (MA) plans may cover some of the cost of hearing aids and diagnostic testing. Most do not. Remember that MA plans are not standardized so each plan can decide if they want to cover some or none of the cost of hearing aids. While we can help you find an MA plan that has the best hearing benefit in your area, we do want to manage expectations that it is rare that one covers all the cost.
What are My Hearing Aid Coverage Options?
If you live in California, consider new Anthem’s Plan F or Blue Shield F Extra that have a hearing aid benefit.
For those in other states we have included a few resources below but we are asking you, the reader, to add any resources you come across to our comments.
- Medicaid and Medicare combined may help cover hearing aid costs
- Civil Service organizations like Seratoma can help find hearing assistance
- Veteran’s benefits for seniors may help cover the costs