You may be surprised to learn that most health insurance policies do not cover the cost of hearing evaluations and hearing aids, especially considering the many related health benefits of correcting your hearing. Only 19 states mandate insurance coverage for children—Florida is not one of them—and only New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Arkansas mandate coverage for children and adults. Wisconsin also mandates coverage for cochlear implants for children.
Low-income families and people with disabilities who are covered by Medicaid can find some relief when it comes to hearing care. In Florida, Medicaid does cover hearing evaluations and hearing aids. This coverage includes the following:
- One hearing evaluation every three years
- One hearing aid per ear every three years
- No coverage for repairs during warranty period
- No coverage for batteries or routine cleaning and maintenance
Prior approval is required for additional hearing evaluations or hearing aids before the three-year period is up.
While Medicaid coverage is quite good in Florida, the same cannot be said for Medicare. Medicare does not cover hearing aids for seniors, but it does cover hearing exams when they are ordered by a doctor. Medicare Part C may provide some additional coverage for hearing aids, depending on the policy.
Why Don’t Insurance Companies Provide Coverage?
Insurance companies will say that hearing aids are elective, and therefore are not a covered benefit, much like elective surgery would not be covered.
However, a more likely reason is that, according to statistics, a large number of people will eventually experience hearing loss. One in three adults between the ages of 65 and 74 experiences some degree of hearing loss, while half of people over 75 have age-related hearing loss. Add to this the number of younger people with noise-induced hearing loss and genetic conditions leading to deafness, and insurance companies would be paying out more money than they collect in premiums. For these reasons, it is not likely that insurance companies will offer coverage any time soon.
Making Hearing Aids More Affordable
You may be able to purchase a special insurance policy to cover hearing care, but you would have to do your research. Special payment plans and financing options may help make these devices affordable. You might also consider a more affordable hearing aid that, while doing an excellent job of correcting your hearing loss, may not offer the bells and whistles of more expensive models.
Visit Professional Hearing Care Clinic for More Information
The hearing care professionals in our Lakeland office can talk to you about various options for making hearing aids affordable. Schedule a free hearing evaluation now so we can assess your needs and discuss your options.