Your hearing is a valuable tool, and regular hearing-related healthcare can be critical. Make sure you’re informed about which hearing services are covered by your Medicare plan and how you can find more benefits if you need them.
Original Medicare Hearing Coverage
Medicare Part A: Part A is hospital coverage, so it won’t cover your regular exams, hearing aids, or other related treatment. Certain hearing or ear related injuries or conditions requiring surgery or hospitalization might be covered. Medicare.gov is always the best resource for checking if a specific service is covered by Original Medicare.
Medicare Part B: Part B covers diagnostic hearing tests to help beneficiaries determine whether their hearing problem requires hearing aids or some other form of treatment, such as solutions for dislodging wax buildup or treating an ear infection that could be dampening your hearing.
You’ll need your doctor to recommend a hearing test and balance examination in order for Medicare to help cover the cost. If approved, you’d only be responsible for 20 percent of the cost of the test and for the associated deductible. There are other variables that could come into play to increase or decrease your expenses for a hearing exam. These might include doctor fees, the type of medical facility that does the tests and other factors.
Medicare Advantage (Part C) Plans
Some Medicare Advantage plans offer additional hearing benefits beyond Original Medicare, such as coverage for regular hearing exams, hearing aids, and more. The depth and cost of the coverage will vary by plan. Some Medicare Advantage plans offer $0 premiums, which may allow you to access more benefits without paying an additional premium, just your Part B premium.
You can use an online plan comparison tool to find Medicare Advantage plans in your zip code and assess the hearing benefits offered. A licensed insurance agent can also help you find plans and carefully review each plan’s Summary of Benefits so you’re informed about your coverage options and cost. A licensed insurance agent can also look up your hearing care providers in a plan’s network and help you find out what you might pay based on whether your doctor is in-network or out of network for that plan.
Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap)
Medicare Supplement plans typically don’t include coverage for services or treatments that Original Medicare doesn’t already cover. These plans can help you pay for the copays, deductibles, or coinsurance that you have with treatment and services already covered by Parts A and B.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, Medicare Part B covers diagnostic hearing tests. Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C) may provide additional coverage for hearing exams and tests.
As of August 2022, the FDA has approved over-the-counter hearing aids for individuals with mild to moderate hearing impairment. These hearing aids do not require a prescription, exam or fitting by an audiologist to purchase. Additionally, over-the-counter hearing aids are expected to be priced significantly lower than prescription hearing aids.
No. Medicare Parts A and B do not cover either prescription or over-the-counter hearing aids.
Annual Enrollment Period (AEP)
Medicare Annual Enrollment Period runs each year from October 15 to December 7. What is the Annual Enrollment Period vs. Open Enrollment Period?
Initial Enrollment Period (IEP)
Your Initial Enrollment Period generally surrounds your 65th birthday but may occur if you otherwise become eligible for Medicare for the first time.
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Last Updated: November 1, 2022 MULTIPLAN_ETQEZMwebsite_0722_M