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Why aren't Hearing Aids Covered by Insurance?

a premium hearing aid on display

A wide range of medical needs are covered by healthcare insurers today. However, there is one thing that is notably absent from a lot of medical insurance policies, and this is hearing loss. At the moment, only around 20 states demand that medical insurance businesses cover partial or full hearing aid coverage for children.

The same cannot be said for adults. In other states, people that have private insurance may be covered for their hearing tests, but not hearing aids. The only exception to this rule is Arkansas, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire. With that in mind, in this blog post, we are going to explore the different reasons why hearing aids are not covered by insurance so that you can get a better understanding.

Within the states whereby hearing aid coverage is required, the coverage will differ considerably from state-to-state. For example, in Rhode Island, insurers need to provide $700 per individual hearing device once every three years for anyone who is over the age of 19-years-old. In New Hampshire, insurance companies must supply coverage that is a minimum of $1,500 per hearing device every five years. 

Outside of very few states, it is basically down to the individual insurance businesses as to whether hearing aid insurance coverage is going to be provided. Hearing devices are classified as elective and, therefore, this is considered something that is selected rather than being deemed necessary. Of course, we know that there are going to be millions and millions of people all around the world that have hearing loss and are going to disagree with this strongly!

However, as hearing aids are not deemed essential medical devices, they are not mandatory in insurance policies. This can be incredibly frustrating, as we know that most people will consider them essential when you think about the huge difference they make to the wearer’s life. Your ability to get insurance for your hearing aid is going to pretty much depend on your location and the insurance policy you have with your provider.

Why wouldn’t an insurance provider offer hearing aid coverage?

Insurance companies tend to work by taking the expense of an uncommon but still possible risk and then they spread it over a sizable number of people. This helps to make certain that members pay a considerable price yet still get the coverage that they need. The insurance company will profit when an individual pays for coverage without filling any claim on their policy.

People that are experiencing hearing loss, nevertheless, are typically deemed a severe risk by the insurance company. This is because you are going to be more likely to make a claim on your insurance plan to pay for your hearing devices, and this claim could amount to several thousands of dollars. 

Also, hearing devices tend to be replaced every five years or so, which means more costs for your insurance company. To put this in simple terms, your insurance company is going to have a reduced chance of making a profit when including hearing aid coverage, and this is why a lot of them don’t. 

It can seem very unfair and frustrating, but, unfortunately, this is the way that the insurance sector works. 

Do Medicaid and Medicare cover hearing aids?

In most instances, the government’s healthcare program, Medicare, is not going to provide hearing aid coverage. This is because it only covers general services. It does not cover tinnitus or devices, which is not deemed a medical necessity in terms of treatment. Nevertheless, hearing aids are covered by the vast majority of Medicare Advantage plans.

Medicaid supplies different cover standards for each state. However, it is worth noting that this does only tend to cover younger people, though, rather than older men and women.

Considering that a lot of the hearing loss experienced around the world is age-related, this may not be a relief or benefit to many people, but it is something that is worth looking into. After all, you never know until you try, right?

Contact us at Salyer Hearing Center

If you are looking for an experienced audiologist who can conduct a hearing test and make sure you get the right hearing aid for your requirements, you won’t be disappointed with Salyer Hearing Center. You can reach us on any of the numbers below to get the help and assistance that you need. We would be more than happy to help you. Call us today at:

  • Sylva: 828-586-7474
  • Franklin: 828-524-5599
  • Murphy: 828-835-1014