It’s one of the most common questions any audiologist will be asked by a patient: “Does my insurance cover the cost of a hearing aid?” The answer, unfortunately, can be complicated. Depending on your insurance provider, it could be yes, no or partially.
Recent data compiled by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASLHA) provides a clearer picture of how health insurance approaches the coverage of hearing tests and hearing aids in Salinas, CA.
According to 2017 data by ASLHA, most private health insurance plans cover basic audiological testing, hearing aid evaluation and consultations with audiologists. Further, a great majority of private health insurance plans will cover either the partial or entire cost of a hearing aid as recommended by a medical professional. Patients should check with their provider at the time of audiological testing to see specifically if and how much of a hearing aid cost is covered.
For people with private insurance that does not cover audiological testing, consultations and hearing aid fittings, the option to buy this insurance may exist. Numerous private health insurance providers treat audiological care like vision or dental—it’s not included in general insurance plans (to keep premiums low), but can be added on for an additional cost.
Medicare and Medicaid
Those relying on Medicaid can almost always expect insurance to cover hearing-related expenditures for both adults and children—often, in the full amount. In contrast, standard Medicare does not cover any costs associated with adult audiological assessment or hearing aids in Salinas, CA. Medicare Part B, however, does cover diagnostic and balance exams if ordered by a medical professional.
For those without the means to afford a hearing aid and whose insurance will not cover the cost of one, there are other options. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) may provide coverage of some costs associated with paying for a hearing aid through its early intervention services. This generally applies to children and individuals with developmental disabilities.
There are also numerous nationwide programs that offer refurbished hearing aid units and temporary units to individuals below the poverty line or those without the means to afford one. Again, many of these programs are focused on children, however adult referrals may be made.
Finally, legislation in 2017 has proposed a Hearing Aid Tax Credit. Should it pass, you may be able to claim a $500 tax credit every 5 years on the purchase of a new hearing aid. The credit would apply to hearing aids purchased for persons over the age of 55 and for children listed as dependents on your tax filing.
Still confused? We don’t blame you! Health insurance can be tricky to navigate and even harder to understand. Fortunately, the professionals at Valley Hearing Center – Salinas are here to help you understand where you stand when it comes to insurance coverage. Stop by today for your free hearing test and to speak with our knowledgeable professionals about how you can get the hearing aid you need to live your life.
Categorised in: Hearing Aids
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