COVID-19 Update: With social distancing and stay-at-home orders, many seniors are struggling with loneliness and isolation. We’ve developed a list of products that caregivers or seniors can purchase to help older adults stay happy, healthy and connected, whether they are aging in place at home or in an assisted living community.

Humana covers part of the cost of hearing aids in some of its plans if a member has been diagnosed with hearing loss by a doctor. Without insurance, a pair of standard hearing aids can cost about $2,500 or more. For a cochlear implant, the price ranges from $30,000 to $50,000. Humana insurance plans that help pay for these devices can save members hundreds or thousands of dollars, so it’s important to know what’s covered before considering hearing aid options.

Select Humana Medicare Advantage plans include access to TruHearing, a hearing aid benefit program that covers the co-pay for up to two hearing aid devices per year. The benefit also includes one annual routine hearing exam at no cost to the member. If the member’s plan includes this program, they can get a standard hearing aid for a $699 co-pay, or a premium hearing aid for a co-pay of $999. Humana Medicare Advantage plans that don’t include TruHearing might still cover part of the cost of a hearing aid, however. Benefits typically include a $1,000 hearing aid allowance instead of a fixed co-pay.

Humana’s Medicaid plan, Humana Healthy Horizons, may cover the cost of hearing aids and cochlear implants for people over 21 years of age in certain states. Benefits can vary depending on the state, but may include a hearing aid assessment, fitting and evaluation every two years.

Recognizing Hearing Loss

One in three Americans between the ages of 65 and 74 have hearing loss, which can make it difficult to have conversations and recognize important sounds, such as sirens or fire alarms. Age-related hearing loss usually occurs in both ears and tends to advance gradually. Many people don’t realize the extent of their hearing loss until they’re tested for it.

People who struggle to understand what others are saying, either in person or over the phone, might be suffering from some degree of hearing loss. Needing to turn up the TV because the volume often seems too low is another sign of a possible problem. A doctor, hearing aid specialist or audiologist can perform a simple test to determine a person’s level of hearing loss. Testing and a diagnosis of hearing loss are usually required for Humana to cover the cost of a hearing aid.

Understanding What’s Covered

Hearing benefits vary among Humana plans, so members should carefully review their policy to know what they’re eligible for. Certain brands of hearing aids may not be covered, for example. Cochlear implants are usually only covered for one ear, and members will need prior authorization to avoid paying out of pocket. Knowing what a Humana plan covers can reduce the chance of surprise medical bills and keep hearing aid costs affordable for you.