1 Freed M, et al. (Nov. 15, 2023). Medicare Advantage 2024 Spotlight: First Look. Kaiser Family Foundation. https://www.kff.org/medicare/issue-brief/medicare-advantage-2024-spotlight-first-look.
Original Medicare (the name for Medicare Part A and Part B) does not pay for hearing aids. Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) are offered by private insurance companies and can cover hearing benefits not offered by Original Medicare.
Medicare Advantage plans that offer hearing benefits may not be available where you live. If plans in your area offer hearing benefits, those benefits might not include hearing aids. Be sure to compare your local plan options to find out what’s available where you live.
98 percent of 2024 Medicare Advantage plans cover hearing benefits not offered by Original Medicare, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.1
Medicare Part B may cover care for a hearing-related medical condition or diagnostic hearing tests to help a doctor assess a hearing problem.
Medicare Part B does not cover hearing aid costs. However, Part B does cover cochlear implants and bone-anchoring hearing aids (BAHA) because Medicare classifies them as prosthetic devices rather than hearing aids.
These hearing systems are surgically implanted devices that work differently than standard hearing aids. A BAHA is anchored to a bone in the skull. Rather than simply amplifying sound, it sends vibrations directly to the inner ear and bypasses the middle and outer ear. In comparison, a surgically placed cochlear implant stimulates the auditory nerve through electrodes.
These devices can help people with middle ear or ear canal problems that prevent sound waves from reaching the inner ear. For people with this hearing loss problem, traditional hearing aids may not work as effectively.
Medicare Advantage plans can include coverage for hearing benefits Original Medicare doesn’t cover, which – depending on the plan – can include hearing aids. Plans that cover hearing benefits and/or hearing aids might not be available where you live.
If you are considering enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan, it's essential to review the plan’s benefits, costs, coverage and limitations, as these can vary considerably.
Medicare Supplement Insurance plans, also called Medigap, do not provide coverage for hearing aids. In fact, these plans don’t provide coverage for any health care services or items at all.
Instead, Medigap plans provide coverage for out-of-pocket costs associated with Original Medicare, such as Part A and Part B deductibles, coinsurance and copayments.
Learn more about 2024 Medicare Supplement Insurance plans.
Here are some additional hearing aid resources you can explore.
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The cost of hearing aids depends on several factors, such as the type of hearing loss someone has, the quality of materials used in the hearing aid and the kind of technology used in the device.
When you buy hearing aids, the cost may or may not include a hearing test, consultation, and the initial fitting. You'll typically return for follow-up appointments to adjust the hearing aids and customize them to your specific needs.
It's important to factor in other associated costs. Hearing aids require maintenance, such as routine cleaning and replacement batteries. You should also consider how you would cover loss or accidental damage.
To find out more about your local Medicare Advantage plan options, call to speak with licensed insurance agent today.
We represent carriers such as Humana, UnitedHealthcare®, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Aetna, Cigna Healthcare, Wellcare, or Kaiser Permanente.
Zia Sherrell is a digital health journalist with over a decade of healthcare experience, a bachelor’s degree in science from the University of Leeds and a master’s degree in public health from the University of Manchester. Her work has appeared in Netdoctor, Medical News Today, Healthline, Business Insider, Cosmopolitan, Yahoo, Harper's Bazaar, Men's Health and more.
When she’s not typing madly, Zia enjoys traveling and chasing after her dogs.