What to Know About Hearing Loss Solutions & Medicare
Hearing loss is a problem that disproportionately affects the older generation. Up to 25% of people between the ages of 65 and 75 have some hearing loss, with the condition affecting up to 50% of people older than 75. Because hearing loss is such a common condition, you may wonder how insurance covers exams and hearing aids to help you navigate the issue. Here’s what you need to know about hearing loss solutions & medicare coverage.
How Does Medicare Coverage Work for Hearing Loss Solutions?
Because Medicare is a government program that was put in place to help elderly Americans afford quality healthcare, you may assume that it covers all of the most common conditions that affect senior citizens. However, the program only covers specific hearing loss solutions, and you will need to follow certain steps to access the care you need for hearing loss.
If you’ve noticed a problem with your hearing, you probably know that you need to see an audiologist for a diagnosis. Medicare requires you to have a referral to see an audiologist, so you’ll need to schedule an appointment with our primary care physician before you can see a specialist. You also need to know what Medicare covers when it comes to a visit with an audiologist.
Are Hearing Aids Covered by Medicare?
As of 2022, Medicare does not cover the cost of hearing aids. If you need hearing aids, you’ll have to pay for them out of pocket. This gap in coverage is surprising because hearing loss is such a common issue, but one major factor is that hearing aids often need to be customized to fit properly, and this is a lengthy and extensive process.
Does Medicare Cover Hearing Tests?
Medicare covers diagnostic testing. However, it does not cover follow-up appointments or ongoing care. If you see an audiologist because you suspect you have hearing loss, the initial tests to confirm the diagnosis will be covered under Medicare. Once you have a diagnosis, however, further testing will not be covered. This means that if your hearing loss gets worse, you’ll be responsible for the expense of any testing.
Because Medicare doesn’t cover testing after the initial diagnosis, you may be tempted to skip further testing if your condition gets worse as you get older. This is never a good idea because the testing is necessary to help you understand the severity of your hearing loss. You need to have a complete understanding of your condition so that you can determine which hearing loss solutions are best for you.
What Does Medicare Cover in Terms of Hearing Loss?
Medicare covers many other aspects of care, but there are many gaps in coverage when it comes to hearing loss. Your specific coverage varies depending on whether you have Medicare or Medicare Advantage, but in general, you can expect the program to cover the testing and appointments needed for your diagnosis. Medicaid does not cover ongoing care. Additionally, the program does not cover the cost of hearing aids.
You may think that you are covered for hearing loss solutions if you have insurance through Medicare, but this is not always true. It is important to know exactly how much coverage you have if you need hearing aids so that you can start saving money for the hearing loss solutions you need to improve your quality of life.
Will Coverage on Hearing Aids Change?
The gaps in hearing loss coverage for Medicare have not gone unnoticed. There is legislation on the horizon to make Medicare coverage more comprehensive for hearing loss solutions. Sponsored by U.S. Representative Tom Rice of South Carolina, the Medicare Audiologist Access and Services Act of 2019 aims to improve hearing loss coverage.
Under the new bill, people will not need a referral to see an audiologist. The bill also seeks to reclassify audiologists as practitioners. Although it seems small, the change in terminology has a huge impact on covered services and reimbursements.
The bill has bipartisan support, but it still has several hurdles to pass before it becomes law, although it was introduced more than two years ago. The piece of legislation was co-written by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the Academy of Doctors of Audiology, and the American Academy of Audiology, so it has significant support within the medical community.
Find Hearing Loss Solutions in Laredo, Texas
Finding a good audiologist is essential for finding the right solution for your hearing loss. Oliveira Audiology and Hearing Center is here to help residents of Laredo, Texas, find the hearing loss solutions they need to improve their quality of life. Located on McPherson Road near Eden Lane, our practice is in a convenient spot to provide you with audiology services. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.
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