Hearing Aids & Your Insurance

by | Apr 12, 2021 | Hearing Aids

The costs of hearing aids are a much researched and discussed topic. One question that always comes up when exploring this issue is, “Are hearing aids covered by insurance in the United States?” As is the case with many issues related to hearing care, the answer varies. Join the hearing wellness experts at Colorado Ear Care for a more in depth exploration of this important topic!

Does my insurance cover the cost of hearing aids?

Typically, the answer is no, but that answer is also maybe. Or maybe there are some aspects of your care that are covered. It all depends on your age, the type of insurance you have, the breadth of its coverage, and numerous other factors. 

And in fact, there are some plans that do cover the cost of hearing aids or have a discount program associated with their plan. As is the case with many things involving insurance coverage, it can be confusing, but we’re here to help you understand everything your plan makes you eligible for.  

In order to make our care as inclusive as possible, Colorado Ear Care partners with many insurance carriers in our state. Our benefit partners include Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Humana, United Healthcare, Tricare, Cofinity, First Health, and Medicare.

If you don’t see your carrier or have questions about your coverage, we encourage you to visit https://coloradoearcare.com/insurance/ to learn more about your unique benefits. Some factors that may affect your eligibility included whether or not you have a physician’s referral for care, or the breadth of care you’re interested in seeking treatment for, like hearing loss, tinnitus, dizziness and balance, or even hardware considerations like earmolds. 

To give you the best possible answer, we need to learn more about you, your situation, and your insurance coverage. 

Wait. Why aren’t hearing aids always covered?

The truth is, a lot of people don’t really consider the ins and outs of hearing aids, their worth, or their cost until they or a loved one is in need of them. Things like eyeglasses, basic dental healthcare, and the like all have pretty set standards when it comes to their associated health coverage (though, admittedly, there are vastly different types of benefits depending on your plan), so why not hearing aids? Seems categorically in the same ballpark, right? Well, not exactly. 

You see, the reason why hearing aids are not given the same level of standardized benefits as other relative treatments like a prothstesis (or even Viagra, for that matter) is that hearing loss is not officially categorized as a disability. Therefore, hearing aids are not considered essential. That’s right, hearing aids are considered an elective treatment, much like many cosmetic surgeries. 

The difference being that, if left untreated, your hearing loss will more than likely progress, and can probably be associated with a vast number of comorbidities that you may or may not also be experiencing or at an increased risk of experiencing.

What does insurance cover for hearing aids?

As you might imagine, insurance coverage for hearing aids varies widely from state to state, with only 22 states having specific hearing aid mandates, 3 of which require coverage for adults and 19 of which require coverage for children. Colorado is part of the latter category, with the mandate stating this:

“[Colorado’s hearing aid mandate] requires insurance providers to cover hearing aids for children under 18 years of age when medically necessary. Coverage must include a new hearing aid every five years, a new hearing aid when alterations to the existing hearing aid cannot meet the needs of the child, and services and supplies such as the initial assessment, fitting, adjustments, and auditory training.”

Stated more specifically, Health First Colorado, our state’s Medicare plan, has an audiology benefit that includes hearing aids for eligible patients who are ages twenty and younger. This coverage includes new technology every three to five years, with those three to five year upgrades applying when the technology no longer fits, has been stolen or lost, or is no longer medically relevant to or medically effective for the wearer’s type of hearing loss. 

This coverage does not include the cost of earmolds for hearing protection or for swimming, but it does include the cost of and even replacement of cochlear implants until the wearer is 20 years of age. 

Of course, the VA (Veterans Affairs) also provides a hearing technology benefit for those who are or who have served in the military. 

Many of these programs provide a very specific benefit in terms of technology used for treatable hearing loss. 

I believe I have a hearing loss but I’m uncertain about my insurance coverage. What should I do?

We believe that learning more about the true nature of your hearing health is the most important first step in being able to take control of your hearing health. That’s why we’ve devoted so much of our standard of care around testing and diagnostics. 

Hearing loss is typically a gradual process that can be associated with the natural effects of aging, exposure to loud noises, certain types of prescription medications, or health issues occurring in the middle and inner ear. Not seeking treatment for a suspected hearing loss can prolong an already existing health condition or worsen the hearing loss while also contributing to other factors related to hearing loss, including depression, feelings of isolation, cognitive issues, anxiety, and an increased risk of falling. 

So if you’re concerned for yourself or a loved one about potential hearing loss, please contact our practice as soon as possible. We can help you understand what benefits might be available to you, as well as help you clearly understand the nature of your hearing health — and what you can do to improve it. 

We make all of our pricing not only easy to understand, but we make it competitive by offering a variety of technology options from all major manufacturers. You deserve to have clarity about your condition, choice when it comes to your treatment, and confidence that you’re in good hands along the way, so that’s exactly what we’ll provide you. 

You’ll even have the option to try the devices most appropriate for your hearing loss in the actual environments where you want to hear your best. No deposit. No pressure to purchase. No strings attached. That’s why patients prefer Colorado Ear Care. And that’s what physicians refer to Colorado Ear Care. Give us a call so we can provide you with the care you deserve.

Need help navigating your insurance benefits? No problem! Colorado Ear Care can help.

Some insurance plans DO include a benefit for the cost devices and certain services and discount programs. The only way to know for sure is to work with a provider who can help you understand your options! 

Contact Colorado Ear Care today to take control of your hearing health!

Talk with one of our friendly hearing and balance professionals today.