Does Medicaid Cover Hearing Aids?
If you or a loved one struggles with hearing loss, then you know how much it impacts the quality of everyday life — from carrying conversations with friends and family, to enjoying a favorite TV show. Today’s hearing aids offer more than just sound amplification by providing cutting-edge features like Bluetooth connectivity, smartphone application controls and individualized adjustment so that you can get back to enjoying life without hearing loss. However, these modern features contribute to hefty price tags.
The average cost of one hearing aid ranges from $1,000 – $4,000 and encompasses much more than just the device itself. Diagnostic evaluations, fittings, testing appointments and check-ups with a professional audiologist account for most of the cost. Thankfully, financial assistance like Medicaid is available to cover these expenses. But because Medicaid benefits differ depending on the state you live in, understanding hearing aid coverage in your state can be confusing. This article will break down how Medicaid covers hearing aids and the different benefits in each state so you can check Medicaid’s coverage of hearing aids where you live.
Medicaid Coverage of Hearing Aids
Medicaid is a health insurance program that is controlled by the federal government and administered by individual states. As of April 2021, Medicaid provided health coverage to 8.9 million Americans, including elderly adults and people with disabilities. Since the program is funded and managed jointly by states and the federal government, some Medicaid benefits vary depending on where you live.
The costs of hearing aid devices, diagnostic assessments and individualized care are covered by some states, while hearing care services may not be covered at all by others. There also are limitations within some states’ coverage. For example, routine hearing aid maintenance, batteries, cord or wire replacement and cleaning are not often not covered. Additionally, devices are frequently limited to one per ear every three years.
Which States’ Medicaid Covers Hearing Aids?
Medicaid’s hearing aid coverage varies so greatly between states that it can take hours of research to find the answers you’re looking for. We created this interactive hearing aid coverage map so you can quickly find the information you need. Simply select your state to view an easy-to-understand list of Medicaid coverage of hearing care services. Since Medicaid changes its benefits often, we encourage you to contact your state’s Medicaid office for the most up-to-date information.
Other Ways to Pay for Hearing Aids
If your state does not offer Medicaid coverage for hearing aids, there are other options available that can help make these devices more affordable. We’ve listed a few below.
- Medicare Advantage: Though Original Medicare does not cover hearing aids, some Medicare Advantage plans include hearing care services that cover the cost of hearing aids and other benefits, like working with an audiologist.
- Veterans Benefits: The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) offers audiology benefits, including access to a professional audiologist to assist with individualized diagnosis and treatment options. VHA Audiology has access to some of the most modern hearing aid technologies available.
- Other Organizations: There are many national and local organizations that provide financial assistance for hearing aids, such as Let Them Hear Foundation, Miracle-Ear Foundation and Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. These organizations will assess your situation to determine the financial benefits they will offer, and some will provide a loan program to assist you with paying for your hearing aids over time.
How to Find Affordable Hearing Aids
While cost is certainly an important factor, there are many additional things to consider when choosing the right hearing aids. Taking the time to review a brand’s ability to provide individualized adjustment with a specialist, ongoing care through in-person or remote consultations, and the overall value of the device will ensure you choose a device you can benefit from for years to come. Thankfully, you don’t have to choose between a high-quality device and affordability. There are several ways to find the hearing aids you need without overextending your budget. Read below for our top three tips.
Buy Hearing Aids Online
In today’s world of online shopping, it’s no surprise that you can purchase hearing aids online. Offering a stark contrast to the process of working in-person with an audiologist to determine which hearing aids are best for you, these direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands often provide online hearing tests and some level of device customization. The DTC model results in overall lower costs for the device and services. While going the online route might be a good option for someone with mild-moderate hearing loss, we do not recommend it for those with more advanced hearing loss who need a higher level of personalization and care by working with a specialist.
Use Remote Audiology Services
If a more personalized approach is best for you, you can still gain access to one-on-one audiologist care without the price tag of in-person appointments. Many hearing aid companies are now offering remote care programs that connect you virtually with their network of specialists to perform hearing tests and device adjustments — all from the comfort of your home. The result of virtual appointments is lower overall costs for the personal and professional service you deserve. A great option for remote care is Lively, a brand leader in customer service with their remote audiology options.
Compare Multiple Brands
When researching hearing aids, it’s important to consider similar models across different brands. You’ll find that some brands have very similar or the same devices, but with significantly different costs. For example, two different brands might have a rechargeable, behind-the-ear model with Bluetooth streaming, a directional microphone and auto adjustments to changing environments. However, one brand might offer their device for $200 less by selling its hearing aids online, directly to consumers. We’ve made it easy for you to compare devices from different brands with our 10 Best Hearing Aid Brands of 2023 list. You’ll find easy-to-read tables of all device models and their specs, including cost, fit type, Bluetooth streaming, audio personalization, dynamic feedback reduction and more.
Hearing Aid Brand Reviews
- Audicus Hearing Aid Review
- Eargo Hearing Aid Review
- Embrace Hearing’s Hearing Aid Review
- LifeEar’s Hearing Aid Review
- MDHearingAid’s Hearing Aid Review
- Phonak Hearing Aid Review
- ReSound GN Hearing Aid Review
- Signia Hearing Aid Review
- Starkey Hearing Technologies Review
- Widex Hearing Aid Review
- Jabra Hearing Aid Review
- Lexie Hearing Aid Review
- Hear.com Hearing Aid Review