Buying hearing aids can be expensive. Even Audicus hearing aids that skip the middleman and sell straight to you might feel out of reach financially. Thankfully, Medicare and Congress are working to pass legislation to make the devices more affordable, but in the meantime, what options do you have?
Hearing aid financial assistance: Form 1040 or 1040-SR
Every April Americans across the country file their taxes, often scratching their heads at the different forms and deductions available. Whether you consult an accountant or complete your taxes on your own, hearing aids may be a deduction to consider. Filed under form 1040 or 1040-SR, you can deduct certain medical expenses from your taxes and amount owed.
Medical expenses cover everything from ambulance services to guide dogs to hearing aids. Not only that, but you can include batteries, maintenance, and even repairs. Even if the devices are for your spouse or dependent, as long as you are filing jointly, the deduction is available.
Spending account options
When you sign up for insurance you’re asked whether or not you want to contribute to a Health Savings Account (HSA), Flexible Spending Account (FSA), or Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA)? These types of accounts can come in handy when it comes time to pay for medical expenses out of pocket that aren’t covered by insurance.
HSA accounts require you to directly contribute and roll over year to year, whereas FSA accounts are funded by a direct deduction from your paycheck if you are still employed and need to be used by year’s end. The benefit of these types of accounts is that they are tax deductible and have the potential to be pre-taxed or receive interest tax-free. Talk to your employer or a financial advisor about any options you have in conjunction to your insurance or Medicare.
Once you are enrolled in one of these programs, you will either receive a debit card with funds already on it or you will be asked to submit receipts for reimbursement from an employer. If you don’t have enough money saved in your FSA or HSA, speak with your representative, and you may be allowed to partially charge the purchase or contribute additional funds to the account to cover costs.
Beware of catches!
As with anything insurance or tax-related, there’s always a catch to watch out for. In order to preempt making a mistake in thinking hearing aid costs are covered, be sure to check and double check your coverage. While some HSAs are opened through independent companies, most are through an employer. That employer might put a cap to how much you can save or how much you can deduct from your paycheck.
Another thing to look out for is High Deductible Health Plans which cover services rendered before a deductible is met, but only if the services are considered preventative. In the case of hearing aids, many insurers do not consider the devices preventative, despite their benefits for the future of your hearing.
Before you shell out thousands for your hearing aids, consider your options and your coverage!