Hearing aids are medical devices, so one would think they are covered by insurance. Unfortunately, this is not the case for most people who need hearing aids.
Hearing aids are considered “elective devices” by insurance companies and therefore do not offer coverage for hearing aids in most situations. While those who wear hearing aids know that they are just as necessary as glasses, the insurance companies have not caught up to this yet.
Are hearing aids covered by insurance in special situations?
In some cases, hearing aids are partially or fully covered by insurance—normally when children require hearing aids. Seventeen states require that health benefit plans in their state pay for hearing aids for children. Another five states require coverage for both adults and children.
However, certain insurance plans are exempt from these mandates. Check the list of states below, and click here for details about each state’s hearing aid coverage:
- States that mandate coverage for children: Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, and Texas
- States that mandate coverage for children and adults: Arkansas, Connecticut, Illinois, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island
Are hearing aids covered by Medicare?
Despite the millions of older adults who would greatly benefit from hearing aids, Medicare does not extend to hearing aids (yet).
If you have Medicare Part B, that will cover a small portion of a hearing exam if your doctor orders it, but for hearing devices customers have to pay out of pocket. If you’re worried about your hearing (or even if you aren’t) you can take our free online hearing test that is audiologist-approved and will give you insight into your hearing health.
How do I pay for hearing aids?
If hearing aids are not covered by insurance, then how does anyone afford them? There are quite a few options. There are payment plans, where you pay for your devices in monthly installments rather than all at once.
Buying hearing aids online and skipping the costs of an audiologist’s office can also save you hundreds of dollars on each device without sacrificing quality. You can find top-quality hearing aids online for half (or more) of the price of a traditionally-purchased hearing aid.
There are also resources for financial assistance in affording hearing aids. If you are covered by Medicaid, some states do cover hearing aids and hearing tests. Check out this list to see if your state’s Medicaid program covers hearing aids.
The Lions Club International Foundation can also assist you with affordable hearing aids. The Lions Club’s mission is to bring hearing aids to all who need them, even if they can’t afford them. Explore their website to see if they can help you with your hearing aid journey.
Even though hearing aids are not covered by insurance, there are options. You can also call your insurance provider and ask for their assistance in finding affordable devices so you don’t have to spend another day without great hearing!