Is Hearing Aid Covered By Medicare?

Is Hearing Aid Covered By Medicare?

The hearing aids are covered by medicare only if they are ordered by a physician who has conducted an examination of the individual and made a thorough evaluation of the severity of the hearing loss and the appropriateness of the hearing aid.

The hearing aid may be sold to the individual provided it meets the individual's needs. Medi-Cal will pay the cost of the hearing aid that has been prescribed by a physician. This can be done by a medical doctor or an audiologist. The costs may be paid by private health insurance.

The individual is required to pay for the hearing aid. However, if the individual does not have the money to buy the hearing aid, he may ask the audiologist to waive the fee. The audiologist in turn may request payment of the cost from the individual's health insurance carrier. This is known as a "third party buy-out" or "third party rebate."

The audiologist may not charge more than the amount the audiologist would charge a person whose hearing loss is not covered by medicare. Wearing the hearing aid may be limited on the basis of age (over 65 years of age), severity of hearing loss, or type of hearing aid.

What is the procedure for getting a hearing aid?

To get a hearing aid, an individual must:

Talk with a doctor or audiologist about his hearing loss.

Have an examination by a doctor if he has not had one for a while.

Have an examination and a hearing test by an audiologist (unless the hearing loss is mild).

The individual may be given a trial period to try out the hearing aid. If the individual does not like the hearing aid, the individual may be given a different hearing aid or a return of the deposit.

The doctor or audiologist may want the individual to try other methods of treatment or rehabilitation before the hearing aid is purchased.

For more information about hearing aids see the Department of Health Services publication: "Hearing Aids: A Guide for the Consumer."

What is a hearing aid?

A hearing aid is a device worn in or behind the ear that amplifies sound.

There are several kinds of hearing aids.

One kind is the behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid. It is a small plastic case that has a plastic ear mold (earmold) to fit in the ear canal. The molded earpiece is connected by a plastic wire to a plastic microphone carried in the case or attached to the ear.

Another kind is the in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aid. This is a plastic case worn on the outside of the ear. It has a plastic ear mold to fit inside the ear canal. A plastic microphone is attached to the case.

What are some of the problems with these hearing aids?

There are some problems that individuals with hearing loss may encounter with hearing aids:

Some hearing aids do not fit well. If the hearing aid does not fit in the ear, the wearer may be unable to hear well.

Some hearing aids do not stay in the ear well. If the hearing aid does not stay in the ear, the wearer may be unable to hear well.

Some hearing aids are not comfortable. If the hearing aid is not comfortable, the wearer will not want to wear it.

Some hearing aids are not powerful enough. If the hearing aid is not powerful enough, the wearer may be unable to hear well.

Some hearing aids are not adjustable enough. If the hearing aid is not adjustable enough, the wearer may be unable to hear well.

Some hearing aids are not portable. If the hearing aid is not portable, the wearer may not be able to hear well enough.

Some hearing aids are not affordable. If the hearing aid is not affordable, the wearer may not be able to hear well enough.

What can be done about these problems?

If a hearing aid does not fit, the wearer should get a hearing aid that fits better.

If a hearing aid does not stay in the ear, the wearer should get a hearing aid that stays in the ear well.

If a hearing aid is uncomfortable, the wearer should get a hearing aid that is comfortable.

If a hearing aid is not powerful enough, the wearer should get a hearing aid that is powerful enough.

If a hearing aid is not adjustable enough, the wearer should get a hearing aid that is adjustable.

If a hearing aid is not portable, the wearer should get a hearing aid that is portable.

If a hearing aid is not affordable, the wearer should get a hearing aid that is affordable.

How can these problems be corrected?

The kinds of problems described above can be corrected by:

Having an examination by an audiologist (hearing aid professional).

Getting a trial period for the hearing aid.

Getting a second hearing aid.

Getting a different style of hearing aid.

Talking with the audiologist about the problems.

What is a hearing aid professional?

A hearing aid professional is an audiologist, an otolaryngologist or an otorhinolaryngologist.

What is an audiologist?

An audiologist is a person who has had special training and who has had a license to practice a profession.

What is an otolaryngologist?

An otolaryngologist is a person who has had special training and who has had a license to practice a profession.

What is an otorhinolaryngologist?

An otorhinolaryngologist is a person who has had special training and who has had a license to practice a profession.

What is a hearing aid clinic?

A hearing aid clinic is a place where hearing aids and related services are provided by certified hearing aid professionals.

What services are offered by a hearing aid clinic?

The services offered by a hearing aid

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