Does Medicare A And B Cover Hearing Aids?
Medicare covers hearing aids if you obtain a referral from your doctor and the hearing aids are classified as durable medical equipment. If you are covered by the senior citizens' program, you will pay $25 for each ear. Coverage is for up to $1,500 per hearing aid per ear. If you are covered by the Medicare part B program, you will pay 20% of the cost for each ear. Coverage is for up to $900 per hearing aid per ear.
You will not be covered for maintenance and repairs. The Medicare coverage is limited to a one-time purchase of a hearing aid pair. If you already own a hearing aid, you can use your Medicare benefits toward an upgrade or a second hearing aid.
If you have a Medicare supplemental plan, you must check with your plan carrier for coverage details.
Medicare Part C and Part D:
If you are enrolled in Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) or Part D (prescription drug), you will have to pay the full cost of the hearing aid. In addition, your medical benefit plan may not include hearing aids.
If you have UnitedHealthcare, you may be able to obtain coverage for hearing aids. Please call 1-877-690-1012 and ask to speak with a hearing specialist.
What is the difference between digital and analog hearing aids?
Digital hearing aids are programmed to amplify the high tones, low tones and voices in the frequency range of human speech. Analog hearing aids are programmed to amplify the frequencies of human speech. The volume in digital hearing aids is adjustable, whereas the volume in analog hearing aids is not.
What if I don't have hearing loss in both ears?
It is important to have hearing in both ears. If you have hearing loss in only one ear, you will be able to hear sounds in the ear with hearing. This will help you determine where the sound is coming from. It reduces the risk of accidents and improves your ability to communicate with others.
How can my hearing loss be treated?
Hearing loss may be caused by genetics, aging, ear infections, exposure to loud noises, or even a blow to the head. Many people with hearing loss experience just a mild to moderate hearing loss that does not interfere with communication.
For these people, there is often no treatment needed. A hearing test can confirm the hearing loss, and if the hearing loss is not severe, no treatment may be necessary.
Hearing aids are devices that can help make hearing easier for people with mild to moderate hearing loss. They can amplify sound and help a person hear better. Hearing aids are different from cochlear implants.
People with moderate to severe hearing loss may need to have a cochlear implant to help improve their ability to hear sound.
What are the treatments for hearing loss?
Hearing loss may be treated with any or all of the following:
Cochlear implants (to help improve hearing for people with severe hearing loss)
Surgical procedures (to remove earwax, reposition the ear drum, or replace the eardrum with a graft or other material)
What if I have hearing loss and also have tinnitus?
Tinnitus is a ringing, roaring, buzzing, or other sound in the ear that cannot be heard by others. It can cause hearing loss, especially in a person who already has hearing loss.
Tinnitus may be caused by ear wax, a perforated eardrum, inflammation of the middle ear (otitis media), or a head injury.
If you have tinnitus, you may want to visit an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist to look into the causes. Treatment will vary depending on the cause.
What if I have hearing loss and also vertigo?
Vertigo is an imbalance in the nervous system that may cause a person to feel like the room is moving or spinning. Vertigo may be caused by an ear infection, a perforated eardrum, or a head injury.
Treatment depends on the cause of the vertigo. If you have vertigo, you may want to seek treatment from an ENT specialist.
What if I have hearing loss and also experience a loss of balance?
A loss of balance may be caused by an inner ear disorder. These disorders are often hard to treat. The treatment depends on the cause.
If you have a loss of balance, you may want to visit an ENT specialist.
How can I find out more?
To find out more about hearing loss, we recommend that you consult your physician or visit your local library.
To find a physician in your area, visit www.healthgrades.com.
To locate a library, visit www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0760968.html.
To view this publication in Spanish, visit www.health.state.ny.us/nysdoh/publications/materials/dohpubs/deaf-hearing.pdf.
This publication is available in alternate formats upon request.
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