If you’ve ever suffered from hearing loss and felt like you couldn’t afford your hearing aids, it’s time that you learned exactly how hearing aid insurance works. One reason that hearing aid coverage can be confusing is because standard health plans and many companies don’t cover hearing aids. This is a source of major economic strain for many families who need to buy hearing aids for their loved ones.
Learning about how to find hearing aid coverage and how it works can be enormously helpful if you are looking for financial assistance for your hearing aid purchase. There are currently 20 states in the United States that require insurance companies to provide coverage for hearing aids. What happens if you live in one of the other 30 states?
This article will help uncover the truth about how hearing aid insurance works in the United States and what you can do to get coverage and financial assistant for yourself or a loved one.
Medicare Doesn’t Cover It
One alarming fact about Medicare coverage is that it doesn’t provide coverage for hearing aids. This is troublesome for many seniors who rely on Medicare for their health insurance. Unfortunately, most other insurance companies don’t cover hearing aids for the elderly either. To the insurance companies hearing aids are considered elective treatments. If you are unable to pay for your hearing aids, you can consider going to local government resource offices and workers unions to endeavor to get hearing aids and batteries. If you are under the retirement age and have complete hearing loss you should be able to apply for social security disability which can help provide you with assistance in covering medical bills associated with your hearing loss. If your child has significant hearing loss that has lasted for over a year, they may also be eligible to apply for social security disability, as hearing loss in children can lead to educational issues, learning problems and social trouble.
Sign Up for an HSA with Your Employer
If your working a job that could cause you to have potential hearing loss, one good option for covering your hearing aids is to sign up for an HSA insurance plan. These plans have higher insurance premiums but can be beneficial in that you are able to save money tax-free in these plans. You can save up money in your HSA and use it to purchase hearing aids and hearing aid batteries. You’ll also likely be able to get your doctors visits paid and any appointments you might need with hearing specialists. You can also use your FSA to pay for hearing aids for your dependents and will be able to.
What about Lost Hearing Aids
Unfortunately for many seniors, losing hearing aids is a major problem, if you are forgetful and misplace or lose your hearing aids regularly this can be an enormous expense. Fortunately, there are a few companies, namely Midwest and ESCO, that provide hearing aid insurance that goes beyond what would be covered in a manufacturer’s warranty. Purchasing this insurance can be extremely helpful if you’re worried about paying for another hearing aid and regularly deal with forgetfulness. Make sure to always try to leave your hearing aids in the same place and work on techniques that can help forgetful seniors to remember where they’ve put their hearing aids. You may need to enlist help from nurses and retirement center workers to ensure that your family member does not lose hearing aids too frequently as this can end up being very expensive, even with additional hearing aid insurance.
AARP Hearing Care Program for Seniors
AARP is one of the largest benefit programs for seniors in the United States. It is a membership program that provides discounts on a wide variety of products and services and is trusted by many Americans. They partner with HEARUSA to help reduce the financial strain that paying for hearing aids causes senior citizens and their families. Their program currently provides a $200 discount on new hearing aids as well as three years of batteries for free! In addition, they provide a list of doctors that help treat senior hearing problems and provide a 15% discount on accessories for hearing devices.
Hearing Aid Insurance Coverage for Children
It is slightly easier for children to obtain hearing aid devices from their insurance carriers. Many of the 20 states that provide coverage for hearing aids only provide the coverage for children. The states that currently provide hearing aid coverage for children are Georgia, Texas, Delaware, Colorado, Kentucky, Maine, Louisiana, New Jersey, Maryland, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Oregon, New Mexico, North Carolina, Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. Many of these states will include a maximum benefit that they will provide each year in terms of covering hearing aid related costs. For some states, this cost can be as little as $1,000. It’s important to have an HSA in place that you can use to help cover costs of hearing aids for your children and sign up for hearing aid insurance to ensure that you don’t pay too much out of pocket for these expenses. Even if you have an FSA or HAS in place there are still limits for how much you can contribute tax-free each year to these plans. The amounts typically will increase if you have dependents so make sure that you are contributing the maximum allowable amount.
Overall, finding hearing aid insurance can be extremely difficult in the United States as most insurance companies view hearing aids as a risky business, in that most people will need them at some point in their lifetimes and their cost is quite high. If you are able to plan in advance for these expenses, it would be a wise decision. Make sure to always use preventative measures when you are at work and limit your exposure to loud noises when you are participating in hobbies. If you are having trouble paying for your hearing aid related expenses look into discount programs and in local resource centers.