Health statistics show that at least one out of three people start to lose their hearing by the age of 65. By this age, most people with Medicare plans wonder whether or not the Medicare hearing aid coverage is among the benefits in their program.
What you should know about Medicare supplement Hearing Aid coverage
Before we dive into the Medicare Supplement plan, it is pretty important to grasp an understanding of what the Original Medicare Parts A and B entails.
Anyone with health insurance under Medicare Part B is eligible for coverage for any diagnostic hearing and balance examination tests that your medical practitioner recommends. These could be diagnostic to find out the causes for conditions like Vertigo. Unless you have Medicare Supplement plan coverage, you'd still be required to pay 20% of Medicare coinsurance cost.
You will also be required to pay for hospital co-payment fees if your hearing tests are done in the hospital. However, this will only happen if the doctor orders the hearing test based on health reasons. Otherwise, Medicare does not cater to routine hearing check-ups, hearing devices, or tests requiring you to have hearing aids.
About the Medicare Supplement Plan
This plan, also known as the Medigap plan, is a private health insurance program that supplements the Original Medicare plan Parts A and B. Medigap is often purchased to cover the costs that Original Medicare A and B do not cover. Fees such as coinsurance, deductibles, or co-pays, are covered by the Medicare Supplement plan.
For the cost of diagnostic hearing and balance tests covered under Original Medicare Plan B, the Medigap plan can come in handy. Otherwise, the Medicare Supplement plan does not cater to the hearing aid devices or services. The only hope for our aging seniors with hearing impairment could be an inclusion in the Medigap plan to cover for the hearing aids. Or better still, a free hearing aid program by the federal government to supplement Medigap.
How Much does it cost for a Hearing Aid?
The fact that Medicare Supplement does not cater for hearing aid services has caused many to lose out on getting treatment for hearing impairment brought on by old age. This is mainly because of the high costs of the hearing devices. On average, a single hearing-aid device could cost $2,400 or more.
Most people above the age of 65 might not be able to afford such high prices, and it's disheartening as it is a setback towards their quality of life. Hearing impairment is a prerequisite for depression, isolation, memory loss, and inability to learn new things among seniors.
Does Medicare cover Cochlear Implants?
A simple and straightforward answer would be yes; it does. It is, however, good enough to know how this came about.
As a health insurance program propagated by the federal government, Medicare pays an average of $24,000 for any cochlear implant. If any device is to be covered by Medicare, it is required that the device be able to be of benefit and be deemed reasonable and of importance for diagnosis or curative treatment of an illness, or be able to improve the well-being of an impaired body part.
Medicare coverage of cochlear implants started in 1986 for adult beneficiaries in the Medicare program, and it was extended to children in 1992. In 2005, the Medicare Audiology reimbursement criterion extended the offer to include people with a pre-implant score of below 40%.
Today, the coverage for cochlear implants is available to virtually all beneficiaries. The insurance covers all its accessories, including microphones and batteries.