The issue of insurance cover and hearing aids is a complicated one. There is no simple answer and you’re probably going to have to look around a little bit before knowing for sure if you can get covered for your hearing aids. Of course, we do think that hearing aids are a fundamental health requirement and should be covered for all persons.
Medicare does not provide insurance coverage for hearing aids. Unfortunately, this is stemming from an uninformed notion about the dire need of hearing aids in the country and the world in general. About 50 million people in the US alone would enjoy a better life if only they had access to hearing aids. Unfortunately, they remain out of reach for most at the moment.
Under the Medicaid program some states offer insurance coverage for hearing aids. You can check where your state lies here. Some of these states only cover children and a few have comprehensive plans that cover adults as well. The range of cover also varies with some only covering tests while others going the full length to cover the entire cost. However, some that cover the full cost only do so for patients who have total or severe hearing loss.
Private insurance companies also vary in regards to their position on insuring hearing aids. The common underlying factor is that most of them will cover mandated hearing tests. But that is as far as most will go. Most do not cover for the cost of the hearing aids themselves. And that is where those with hearing aids need the cover most. Speculation is rife that the reason for this inadequate coverage is due to the anticipated cost.
Most military veterans enjoy federal as well as state-level insurance coverage as long as their hearing loss is in some way connected directly or indirectly to their military service. Some private insurance companies also provide a similar coverage policy with some simply offering veteran discounts and others offering full coverage.
Most federal employees, just like military veterans, enjoy insurance cover on their hearing aids. This extends to both hearing tests and hearing aids as well. However, under this cover, the employees only get the most standard hearing aids on the market. They do not receive customized or the most advanced aids. However, they are free to pay for upgrades and modifications themselves.
Evolving health coverage
Health coverage in the US is currently a fluid and dynamic topic, what with the exit of ‘Obamacare’, its subsequent repeal by the Trump administration, and the resultant ‘Trumpcare’ medical program. It’s therefore a very unfortunate time to pin down where insurance cover lies in regard to hearing aids which have in the past not enjoyed as much cover as they should.
Due to all the uncertainties involved with insurance coverage on hearing aids, and the lack of full coverage by private insurers, the general understanding is that hearing aids are not covered. And as such, most people simply pay for their own hearing aids out of pocket. The hope, however, is that some time in the near future this will all change and hearing aids will receive the recognition they deserve in terms of insurance.