Medicare Hearing Aids, and Your Options
If you or an elderly parent believes you may need a hearing aid, the first thing you need to do is visit your local ear doctor. Known as otolaryngologists, or ENT (ear, nose and throat) doctors, such physicians are specially trained in the care and management of hearing, hearing loss, causes of dizziness, as well as tumors found in the ear.
Seniors should have their hearing checked regularly, and most especially if they notice that they have to turn their televisions louder, have difficulty hearing over the telephone, or find it difficult to follow topics of conversation in crowded environments.
If you believe that you or a parent is experiencing some hearing loss, schedule a visit with your ear doctor to determine a cause and receive a diagnosis. In many cases, your ear doctor will recommend the type of hearing aid that will prove most beneficial to your type of hearing loss. Today, hearing aids come in many different styles, from traditional over-the-ear type hearing aids to the ear buds to cochlear implants.
Today, hearing aids come in a variety of styles, and capabilities. Some can fit inside the ear canal, and some fit halfway inside and outside the ear canal. Generally speaking, the smaller a hearing aid, the less power it has and the shorter battery life it has. Before choosing a hearing aid, however, it's important to know what the ear doctor suggests, how much medicare hearing aids will cost, and whether Medicare will even help pay for such costs.
Common styles for hearing aid include:
Other types of hearing aids are those that are digital, which are also available in many different styles and price ranges.
Hearing aids may cost anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars, and accessories such as remote controls and the style of hearing aid may also affect cost. An audiologist or your ear doctor will determine your needs and offer some suggestions on which may prove most beneficial to your type and severity of hearing loss. Private insurance policies may cover portions of or the entire cost of hearing aids, but always check your policy before purchasing. Medicare hearing aids are no exception.
** Medicare does not cover the cost of routine hearing aids or hearing exams.
Medicare Part B may cover some diagnostic hearing exams when ordered by a doctor or if a hearing problem is caused by a medical condition, disease process or specific head injury such as a tumor or traumatic accident.
Individuals, even if they have Medicare, may pay up to 100% of hearing aids and hearing exams. In some conditions, a doctor may order a diagnostic hearing exam, in which case, seniors who have Medicare may pay 20% of the total charges. Deductibles for such care will need to be paid for through Medicare Part B services and supplies.