Insurance coverage for hearing aidsis a complex topic best addressed individually, but here are five tips to keep in mind when considering your coverage:
1. Most insurance companies cover a hearing evaluation
Nearly all insurance companies provide some coverage for a diagnostic hearing evaluation. This includes the testing necessary to determine if you have a hearing loss, as well as the type and degree of hearing loss. Some insurances require physician orders orpre-certification for testing or procedures. The audiologist uses test information to make recommendations including the hearing aid technology best suited to your lifestyle, needs and budget.
2. Different plans provide different coverage
Insurance coverage for hearing aids varies greatly from one insurance provider to the next, and even within the same provider’srange of plans. For example, just because you have a particular type of insurance, does not mean that coverage is the same across the board. The plans vary within the companies. One type of plan may pay for hearing aids, while another may not. So, even though you and your neighbor may both have insurance with the same company, you may have different plans that provide different coverage for hearing aids.
3. Be wary of hearing aid benefits
To further complicate matters, some insurance companies promote what is called a “hearing aid benefit,” which may actually be purchased through a third party. Be sure to check this very closely. Often, the benefit is only if you purchase a specific device from a specific provider or manufacturer. Depending on the type of hearing loss you have,this may be fine. But, many times,these are lower cost, low-end devices that may not work well for your specific hearing needs.Remember, it’s only a benefit if it helps you hear better.
4. You’ll have to meet your deductible
Even if your insurance company covers hearing aids, you need to meet your deductible before coverage kicks in. If you have a high deductible, say $5,000, you’ll have to meet that before your hearing aids are covered. Once that is met, many companies will cover a percentage of the hearing aid cost, often 70 to 80 percent.
5. Hearing aids qualify as a medical expense
Currently, there is no tax credit for the purchase of hearing aids,though Associated Audiologists has been involved in lobbying Congress for passage of a tax credit. In the meantime, hearing aids do qualify as a medical expense if you itemize your medical expenses on your income taxes. And, many people use their flexible medical savings plan through work to save the money to pay for their hearing aids. We also offer payment options via Care Credit.
Bottom line, more and more insurance companies are promoting hearing aid benefits, but coverage varies widely depending on the company and plan. Our staff has the expertise to check and verify your coverage, as well as provide detailed estimates of our hearing aid recommendations and costs.
Feel free to contact us to verify your coverage,or if you have any other questions about if/how your insurance plan pays for hearing aids.