Does Medicare Cover Hearing Aid Batteries?
Does Medicare Cover Hearing Aid Batteries? Today in the United States, age-related hearing loss, known as presbycusis, affects 25 percent of people between the ages of 65 and 74. That percentage jumps up to 50 percent of people 75 years old and above. These percentages mean that there are over 40 million Americans living with some degree of hearing loss that could improve with the use of hearing aids. What’s even more surprising – only one in three people over 70 with hearing loss have ever used hearing aids.
Medicare Benefits Solutions
Oct 6, 2021
Some people avoid hearing aid use are because they feel self-conscious, they think hearing aids are bothersome, or because they think they are too expensive. Some health care benefits may help cover some of the cost. Unfortunately, Original Medicare insurance doesn’t include coverage for hearing care services, hearing aids, or hearing aid batteries.
On the other hand, there are many Medicare Advantage plans that do cover hearing care, hearing aids, and possibly batteries. Let’s take a look at how Medicare Advantage can help.
Does your Medicare coverage include hearing aids?
If your Medicare coverage is through a Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plan, you may have coverage for hearing aids. All Medicare Advantage plans are required by federal law to provide the same Medicare coverage that Original Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance) cover. They are permitted to include extra benefits in their plans if they choose, and many plans include coverage for hearing exams and hearing aids.
Your personal coverage for hearing aids and hearing care services depends on your plan and the plan provider. Because Medicare Advantage plans are sold by private insurance companies, the company has the option to choose whether their plans will include extra benefits, and which benefits it will include.
Here’s a list of hearing care benefits that many Part C plans include:
- Routine hearing examinations
- Routine hearing tests
- Hearing aids
- Hearing aid fittings
- Hearing aid maintenance
- Follow-up exams, hearing aid adjustments, and cleanings
Depending on the MA plan you are enrolled in, you may be restricted to a specific number of visits per year, the type of hearing aids you can get, and the health care providers you can use.
If you are enrolled in an HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) plan, you will likely have to use health care providers and medical suppliers that are within the plan’s network. If you go outside the network, you may have to pay for those services entirely out-of-pocket. If you are enrolled in a PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) plan, you may have some leeway as to which providers and suppliers you can use. You may be able go outside the plan’s network of providers for a higher cost.
Be sure to discuss all the details of your coverage with your provider before making arrangements for hearing care services or purchasing hearing aids.
Does your Medicare insurance include hearing aid batteries?
You might have Medicare benefits for your hearing aid batteries if you have an allowance for over-the-counter medications and supplies through your Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan.
Your coverage for hearing aid batteries depends on which plan you have, and which insurance company provides it. Many Medicare Advantage plans include hearing aid batteries as part of this benefit.
How much do hearing aid batteries cost without Medicare insurance?
How much you pay for hearing aid batteries depends on several factors like the type of hearing aid, the type of battery, how long the hearing aid is on, and other things.
Typically, hearing aid batteries cost around .23 cents per battery. You can get a package of 60 batteries for under $19.00.
If you purchase a battery that has a 90-hour life and you wear your hearing aids for 12 hours per day, your cost would be around five cents per day. If you purchase a battery with a 240-hour life, your cost would drop to about two cents per day.
If you’re not sure about your hearing care coverage and would like more information, you should ask your insurance provider.