Does Insurance Cover Hearing Aids?
With most hearing aids costing several thousand dollars, it makes sense to wonder if your health insurance will pay for your hearing aids- or at least part of the cost. Unfortunately, most insurance companies do not cover the cost of hearing aids. Medicare does not cover hearing aids either, but Medicaid often does. If you are unsure of whether your insurance covers hearing aids, you should call the number on the back of your ID card and ask about your benefits. Be sure to make a note of the name of the individual that gives you your answer, and make a record of the time and date you called as well. Insurance companies can be a bit tricky to work with in this respect, and you may get different answers from different employees, so document everything. Alternatively, you can ask your employer’s benefits manager (probably HR), about your coverage.
If you do have hearing aid benefits, the next thing to determine is whether you have to use a network provider, or if you can go to any provider you choose. If you have to use a network provider, all you can do is hope that the in-network provider is good, because you’re kind of stuck. If you have a different provider (out of network), that you like, chances are your benefit will not be honored if you do business with that provider, and you’ll end up paying more for your hearing aid. Although, if you feel good about the out of network provider, it may very well be worth it to pay that extra price and not take advantage of your benefit with an in network provider. If you mention your benefits to an out of network provider, yet you tell them you would like to give them your business instead of the in-network provider, chances are they will give you a price break.
Even if you have benefits with an in-network provider, it’s still a bit of a long road to actually making a claim and getting the hearing aids paid for. Insurance companies are generally very bad at paying the agreed upon amount of the hearing aids, and paying on time. Because of this, many providers will have you pay them in full for the hearing aids up front (at the time you order them), and then have you deal with the reimbursement on your own by submitting a claim form, which most providers can help you fill out.
Once you actually have your hearing aids, you can insure them by adding them as a rider to your home insurance policy. In addition, most hearing aids come with a pretty generous warranty period for the first few years. If you don’t want to add your hearing aids as a rider to your home policy, there are companies out there like ESCO which will insure your hearing aids for you. Additionally, most hearing providers will allow you to purchase an extended warranty (including loss and damage), from the manufacturer of your hearing aids.
If you’d like a free phone consultation with a licensed hearing provider, please feel free to call us at 800-731-6794.