Medicare Advantage (MA) plans may cover hearing aids and other benefits not available in Original Medicare. However, Medicare Part B does cover diagnostic hearing test and balance exams. After you pay a $203 Part B deductible in 2021, Medicare covers 80% of your hearing and balance test. (Medicare.gov)
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Before Medicare Advantage covers your hearing aids, you must first have your hearing tested. So who can order your hearing test?
Medicare Hearing Test Coverage
Medicare will only cover your hearing test if ordered by your doctor or other health care provider. Other than your doctor, the following non-physician practitioners can order your hearing test: (asha.org)
- Nurse practitioner
- Clinical nurse specialist
- Physicians’ assistant
Why would a health care provider order a diagnostic hearing test?
Reasons for Diagnostic Hearing Test
Due to a recent illness or injury, you may suffer hearing loss. Please tell a health care provider if you have difficulty hearing. During your healthcare appointment, a practitioner may observe a communication problem and order a hearing test.
For example, the results of your hearing test may demonstrate you can hear just fine. This outcome may lead to another diagnosis, cognitive impairment such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Medicare Advantage with Hearing Aid Coverage
If you have Medicare Advantage (MA) plan that does not include hearing aid coverage, you can switch to a MA Plan that does cover hearing aids. You can switch to a different MA Plan or enroll during MA Open Enrollment between January 1 and March 31. After March 31, you may be able to make MA Plan changes by qualifying for a Special Election Period. Otherwise, you will have to wait until Annual Election Period between October 15 and December 7.
Now that you know when to change or enroll in your MA Plan, what do hearing aids costs, and how much could you save?
Hearing Aid Costs
According to Miracle-Ear, “the average cost of a hearing aid is $1,000 to $4,000.” However, the real cost of hearing impairment is difficulty or inability to communicate with people. Furthermore, hearing an approaching vehicle could save your life. Thus, the actual price of not using a hearing aid could be injury or death.
When it comes to improving quality of life and preventing accidental death, the value of hearing aids is much higher than the costs. However, with a Medicare Advantage Plan covering hearing aids, your out-of-pocket costs will be much less. An MA Plan with hearing aid coverage could save you thousands!