Hearing loss is a common problem among older adults, and it can have a significant impact on quality of life. However, traditional Medicare does not cover hearing aids, which can cost several thousand dollars per pair. This leaves many older adults without access to this essential device.
Over-the-counter hearing aids may be a lower-cost solution, but they are not appropriate for everyone and do not provide a full assessment and personalization from a trained hearing specialist. Addressing hearing loss is important to prevent other health disorders, such as falls, cognitive decline, depression, and social isolation.
Medicare beneficiaries have a few options for getting hearing aids covered. Medicaid may cover hearing aids, and some Medicare Advantage plans do as well. Private insurance carriers may also cover hearing aids, but coverage varies. In addition, some audiologists offer financing or payment plans.
Medicare Part B will provide coverage for cochlear implants for people with severe hearing loss. Cochlear implants are electronic devices that can help people with severe hearing loss to hear.
Experts recommend getting a baseline hearing test, wearing hearing protection, keeping the volume of audio devices at a reasonable level, and considering custom earphone molds.
Some members of Congress are trying to pass legislation to include Medicare coverage of hearing aids, as well as dental and vision services