Hearing aids are ingenious, high tech devices providing a better quality of life for millions of Americans. It seems like the list of features available on hearing aids is getting bigger each year, as is the price tag. A basic set of hearing aids costs between $1500 and $3500 and this is on the low end of the scale. Medicare does not cover hearing aids, not even if you are profoundly deaf. The majority of private health insurance companies do not cover hearing aids either. Unfortunately, the cost is a significant deterrent for many people who need hearing aids but can’t afford to purchase a pair. However, there is a new law in Maine that might be changing things.
If you are an inhabitant of Maine and need hearing aids, there is good news to share with you. The new law requires private insurers and MaineCare, the state’s Medicaid program, to cover the cost of hearing aids up to $3,000 per ear every three years. On January 1, 2020, the law, which was a bill sponsored by Representative James Handy, became effective. Those policyholders who have deductibles higher than $3,000 and have not met the deductible by the time of purchase may be accountable for the entire cost of the hearing aids.
Hearing is a precious gift, so please do not let finances get in the way of acquiring the hearing aids you need.
Inquire with your insurance carrier to see if it provides any hearing aid coverage. Medicare beneficiary? Though Medicare Part A and Part B do not cover hearing aids, some Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans do. If you have the Advantage plan, check with your plan administrator. Medicare also assists with hearing aids in some states for people with limited means. Contact your county social service office for more information.
If you are a current or former federal employee, hearing aid coverage might be available through specific insurance plans in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. If you are a veteran, the VA provides free hearing aids if you meet certain conditions, and your hearing loss is military service-related. Go to va.gov for further information.
There are other financial resources, as well. Check out the Hearing Loss Association of America for information regarding organizations that may be able to assist you. Non-profit organizations offer help. The HEAR Now program and the Lions Affordable Hearing Aid Project provide hearing aids at discounted prices. These options are just a sampling of the resources that can help you.
Hearing aids are expensive, but the price you will pay for untreated hearing loss is much more substantial. Anxiety, depression, intellectual decline, safety concerns, listening fatigue, and reduced work performance are but a few of the reasons to treat your hearing loss. Hopefully, other states will follow the example of Maine. In the meantime, schedule a hearing evaluation with a hearing healthcare professional who can diagnose and treat your hearing problem. If you do need hearing aids and money is a problem, check out the resources listed above and please don’t hesitate to reach out to our office for more information on hearing aids.