Does Medicare Help Pay for Hearing Aids?
While the short answer to this question is “no,” there are some circumstances where Medicare will help pay for some hearing services. Additionally, there may be other resources available to you to help pay for hearing aids. Keep reading to learn more.
Understanding Medicare’s Hearing Benefits
For most people with mild to moderate hearing loss, Medicare isn’t much use. Normal Medicare Part B plans – the kind most people have – don’t make any allowance for hearing tests or hearing equipment. You’ll have to pay for your hearing devices out-of-pocket, or figure out an alternate payment method.
However, there are some circumstances in which Medicare will help you pay for hearing tests. According to the Medicare.gov website, “Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance” covers diagnostic hearing and balance exams if you doctor… orders these tests to see if you need medical treatment.”
In other words, Medicare will help cover costs for hearing testing if your doctor orders the tests for diagnostic purposes. If you have serious hearing problems or secondary symptoms like balance issues, you may be able to get some help from Medicare for your hearing exams.
How to Get Help Paying for Hearing Aids
Most people suffering from hearing loss, however, don’t qualify for help from Medicare for their hearing. However, there are other options for many people that can lessen the burden of paying for hearing aids, such as:
Health Savings Accounts
A Health Savings Account, or HSA, is an individual savings account tied directly to health spending. It allows an individual or family to contribute funds to an account to pay for medical spending, and all of the contributions are tax-deductible. However, to enroll in an HSA you must also be enrolled in a high-deductible insurance plan with an individual deductible of at least $1,300 or a family deductible of at least $2,600. If you plan ahead, though, you can use the tax savings from an HSA contribution to lessen the impact of hearing testing and hearing aid purchases.
Flexible Medical Spending Accounts
Flexible Spending Accounts, or FSAs, are tax-free medical spending accounts for people who have health plans through their job. Unlike an HSA, an FSA is operated by your employer and your account is tied to your job. You can deposit up to $2,550 per year in an FSA, which is less than the annual limit of $3350 for HSAs, and you can only carry over $500 per year. However, unlike an HSA, the entire value of your FSA is available at the start of the plan year, even if it hasn’t been deducted from your check yet. You also won’t pay any taxes on money deposited into an FSA, so your total costs will be less.
Private Insurance Plans
Most insurance plans don’t cover hearing aids, but some do. If you’re not sure whether your insurance carrier covers hearing devices, contact them or look at your Plan Benefits book.
If your hearing loss is related to your military service or duties, or related to a condition treated at a VA hospital, you may be able to get help from the government for your hearing aids. You could also qualify for assistance if your hearing loss is severe and prevents you from performing normal daily activities.
If you don’t qualify for any of the above options, you still may be able to find some assistance. There are several organizations which offer limited financial help topeople in need of hearing aids, and you can also ask if your audiologist can set up a payment plan or financing option to help you cover your out-of-pocket costs more comfortably.
For more questions and help achieving better hearing, contact us today at Audio Recoveryin Oklahoma City. We’re the area’s top audiology clinic, and we have many years of experience helping Oklahomans hear better. Call 405-949-1906 today or visit our Facebook page for more advice and tips.