Medicare and other health services may seem complicated and difficult to understand, but with a bit of research, you can find the right programs for you. This week in Audicus blogs, find out more about Medicare and how to sign up!
Medicare and Hearing Implants
Medicare can cover a broad variety of health needs. In the case that it doesn’t cover certain health costs (which is less likely to happen if you have a Medicare Advantage health plan), then you can either pay out-of-pocket or use an alternate insurance program.
Medicare does not cover the following:
- Alternative medicine such as chiropractic treatment or acupuncture. Exceptions to this include chiropractic services to fix spine subluxations
- Cosmetic surgery, except for surgeries like breast prostheses that may fix malformations
- Long-term care like nursing home care, adult day care and debts accrued from assisted living facilities. Medicare pays for up to 100 days of rehabilitation or nursing following a three-day inpatient hospital session
- Hearing Aids: Medicare is not responsible for hearing aids and hearing exams. In some cases, hearing implants required following severe hearing loss will be covered.
Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B, and Hearing Aids
You qualify for Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) if any of these conditions apply to you:
- You are under 65 and have a disability
- You’re already getting benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB).
- You have Lou Gehrig’s disease (Also known as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS))
- If you live in Puerto Rico and get benefits from Social Security or the RRB
You can sign up for both part A and B online through Social Security at https://www.ssa.gov/medicare/. If you’re automatically enrolled in Medicare, you will get your red, white and blue card in the mail 3 months before your 65th birthday or your 25th month of disability. It is becoming easier to sign up for Medicaid as well. In the year 2016, 31 states, as well as the District of Columbia, expanded eligibility for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. (ACA)
Hearing Aids and Private Insurance
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) can help to supplement some fees associated with audiology, and some private health plans will help cover audiology costs. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act are geared to making more available health insurance benefits for individuals who are uninsured, such as small business owners.
At least 22 states provide some form of health coverage regarding hearing aids. New York state, for example, covers hearing aids through the ACA. Online information regarding the act is available at http://cciio.cms.gov/resources/data/ehb.html. The financial limit is $1,500 a year and is limited to a single purchase, including replacement or repair, every three years. This coverage may not extend to bone-anchored hearing aids unless certain criteria are met.
Be sure to learn more about the insurance benefits of your current health plan by inquiring by phone or visiting the program’s website. For more information, you can consult the ‘Medicare & You” 2015 booklet found here. Sign up for Medicare today, here!
Sources: Medicare.gov, AARP
By: Aaron Rodriques