Each year in the United States, hearing loss affects 20% of the population. What used to be considered part of aging is becoming for common among people of all ages. The causes are many, but fortunately, new technology is making it easier for people to acquire the hearing products they need at a fraction of the price. However, we are often asked whether or not Medicare covers the cost of hearing products such as digital hearing aids. There area many advantages to digital hearing aids, and it is important that individuals are educated about their hearing options. Below, we will be answering the question: Does Medicare cover hearing aids?
Does Medicare Cover Hearing Aids?
Approximately 30 million people over the age of 60 have hearing loss. Only about 20% seek treatment. Cost is one of the many reasons people rather not seek treatment for hearing loss. Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover hearing aids and consumers complain of their high out-of pocket costs. We may see Medicare coverage for hearing aids in the future once a low cost and effective over-the-counter device (OTC) is developed or maybe Medicare will support a hearing aid program similar to the VA (Veterans Administration). The VA provides eligible Veterans with hearing aid services. Well deserved for this group. They offer the Big 6 hearing aid manufacturers to veterans at cost or at minimal cost by leveraging their buying power to obtain these hearing aids for fraction of the cost that a private practice, hospital, or hearing healthcare center can obtain them for.
Why Doesn’t Medicare Cover Hearing Aids?
Hearing loss is a serious condition. If not taken care of it will get worse. It can also lead to isolation, depression, impacts on relationships, and other serious medical problems. Hearing loss is one of many ailments our seniors face today. Medicare does not pay for other services that our seniors rely on.
Other services not covered by Medicare:
- Foot care
- Cosmetic surgery
- Hearing aids and fitting exams
- Dental care
- Eye care
- Long-term or custodial care
Medicare considers hearing aids an elective, and just like with eyeglasses, patients are responsible for 100 percent of the bill. Hearing loss is a likely risk. More than 50% of those over the age of 75 have a hearing loss. With the high cost of hearing aids and the replacements every three to five years insurance companies will lose money or not make the same profits. Medicare and private insurance companies haven’t offered coverage for hearing aids because of “cost containment.”
Why Should Medicare Cover Hearing Aids?
Hearing loss is connected to a number of long-term health issues. Without the treatment of hearing aids and stimulation of sound to certain areas of the brain, it can have harmful effects. Possibly a contributor to dementia. Instead of covering the expensive health care cost of Alzheimer’s, Medicare should pay for low cost hearing aids and professional care earlier in their life to prevent any severe medical problems and costs later. Without hearing aids, the quality of your life will dramatically drop.
As stated earlier, Medicare should adopt a program like the Veterans Administration. Medicare can use their buying power to receive low cost hearing aids from the hearing aid manufacturers. Even if Medicare does not want to contribute to this program financially, they can leverage their buying power to offer a low cost hearing aid program to their members.
Since Medicare and Most Insurance Companies Do NOT cover hearing aids….
Since Medicare and most insurance companies do not cover hearing aids, Dr. Mike’s offers affordable hearing aids for all technology levels. Buy in store or online at DrMikesHearingExpress.com or call (908) 722-4022. We are located in Branchburg, NJ. For more information, visit our website: