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Hearing Aids and Medicare & The 4 Best Financial Assistance Programs For Those Who Need Hearing Aids

First off, let’s just say that at this time, unfortunately, Medicare does not cover the cost of hearing aids. In this article, however, we will discuss what other options are available for seniors on a budget. In addition, we will determine what exactly parts A and B Medicare cover.

If you have purchased supplemental insurance, the cost of your hearing aid and exam may be covered. Check your plan coverage or call your representative to learn the details.

Part C Medicare Coverage

As stated earlier, original Medicare-Parts A and B do not cover the cost of hearing aids. You will be responsible for the entire cost of the hearing aid. However, under Part C which is also called the Advantage Plan, you may have coverage.

When signing up for Medicare, take this into consideration if you are in need of hearing aids. Keep in mind, however, that with Advantage Plans, you will have an additional premium.

What About Hearing Tests?

Original Medicare will in certain instances pay for a hearing test. However, you will need to obtain a referral from your primary care doctor. This shouldn’t be a problem if you have a genuine loss of hearing. Remember that you cannot simply decide for yourself that you want a hearing test. Walking into a clinic for this service without a referral will mean you are willing to pay the entire cost.

Hearing Aids for Veterans

If you are a veteran, you may be eligible for help with some, if not all, of the costs of hearing aids. If your hearing loss is in any way due to your service, you will have coverage. In addition, if you are currently receiving your medical care from the Veterans Administration, you will be covered. If you haven’t already, make sure that you are registered with the VA.

Non-profit Organizations

There are several non-profit organizations that may be able to assist individuals in need of hearing services. Generally, these programs should be considered by low-income seniors in need of hearing aids. We will discuss the three of them below.

Sertoma Service Organization

Sertoma is a non-profit organization whose mission is to help low-income people obtain the hearing services they need. They provide lists by state of organizations that will help. One program they use is SHARP. This stands for Sertoma Hearing Aid Recycling Program. SHARP receives donated hearing aids and distributes them to those in need.

Check their website at Sertoma.org to find a list of places in your state that will help. However, a onetime charge may be involved.

National Hearing Aid Project

The National Hearing Aid Project is organized by the Hearing Charities of America. It is designed specifically for low-income individuals in need of hearing aids. They will restore used hearing aids and distribute and track them. Of course, there is an application process. In addition to hearing aids, you will receive follow up care. Be sure to check their website at hearingaiddonations.org.

Hear Now

Hear Now is a program provided by the Starkey Hearing Foundation. This too, is a program for low-income people that you will need to apply for. If accepted, you will receive new custom made hearing aids. With this in mind, professionals donate their time and experience to this program. In other words, Hear Now is purely a donation driven program. Check the Starkey Hearing Foundation website for more information.

The hearing aids are lifestyle devices that must be chosen with a bit of care, and they must be checked by a professional.

Medicare Part A

To help you understand Medicare Part A, here is a brief list of exactly what is covered under this part of Medicare. Hospital care and nursing home care is covered with Part A. In addition, services from Hospice are covered. Lastly, home health services as well as a skilled nurse facility care are covered.

Medicare Part B

Medicare Part B essentially covers two services. 1. Those that are medically needed and 2. Preventive care. Specifically, these services include ambulance service and durable medical equipment (such as walkers). Care for mental illness is also covered, whether inpatient or outpatient.

Second opinions are covered if surgery is involved. Certain prescription medications as well as some clinical research are covered under Part B.

If you are suffering from a loss of hearing, you don’t need to rely totally on Medicare. There are organizations and programs available to you. Don’t forget to check any supplemental plans you may have purchased. You may very well have coverage.

Is there Difference in Hearing Aids?

Yes, there are three basic kinds of hearing aids. They vary in size, placement in or on the ear, and how well they amplify sound: Canal aid, In-The-Canal (ITC) aid and Completely-in-canal (CIC) aid are three different types of hearing aids.

Best Price on Hearing Aids

It’s understandable if you, like 40 percent of the 60 percent of all Americans surveyed, are holding back from getting a hearing aid because of high cost. A few tips may be all you need to get the required hearing aid.

Check Your Insurance Coverage

While insurance doesn’t cover hearing aids, some, like Medicare Advantage, offer part coverage or discounts to certain groups of individuals in specific states. Select a model that meets your requirements. You don’t need all the functionality found in high-end hearing devices.

Settle for a practical device that caters to your hearing needs. The Bluetooth features are adequate, but are they critical in meeting your needs? Remember, the more features a hearing aid offers, the more expensive it will be.

Request a Rebate

A sizable portion of people who buy hearing devices are unaware they can bargain for a lower price and even request a rebate if applicable. Many have taken this route with a positive outcome. It’s also good to be alert to special offers. Some brands offer certain hearing aid testing services at attractive prices at specific retail locations. Check with the shop ahead of time if they have any good deals.

Average Cost of a Hearing Aid

On average, hearing devices cost $2000-$3000, ranging from $1000 to $400, depending on the technology involved and the type. Find the price range for each type of hearing aid as well as their benefits below.

Hearing Aid Types and Cost

Canal aids cost on average $3,167 for a single device. In-the-Canal (ITC) aids cost anywhere from $2,500 to $4,900 per device. Completely-in-Canal (CIC) aids cost between $1,500 and $4,000 per device, depending on selected customizations and bundling services.

The price tag of a hearing aid may be subject to what price the audiologist decides to sell it to the end user, his patient. Audiologists are licensed to buy wholesale from the manufacturer and then sell to the end user at cost. The bright side is that a basic hearing aid can assist you with your hearing needs at an affordable cost but with limited customizable features.

Do Inexpensive Hearing Aids Work?

Yes is the direct answer. Recent studies are gaining support for a more balanced approach on hearing aids. A notable current study shows no marked difference between an inexpensive $300 and an expensive $2000 hearing aid on average. So your primary objective should always be to ensure that the hearing aid you choose works for you in addressing your hearing needs, not how expensive it is.

Choosing Affordable Hearing Aids

The availability of a wide range of hearing devices makes the process of choosing a hearing aid somewhat hard. Here are some key features to consider when choosing a hearing aid:

  • Battery Life:

Batteries should be rechargeable, durable, long-lasting, and disposable.

  • Excellent Audio Clarity:

The sound quality must be above average. A practical hearing aid should have crystal-clear audio quality.

  • Responsive customer support:

Does the seller give adequate customer support to the buyer? Some features will need more explanations for satisfactory results.

  • Product trial:

Find out if the product purchase includes a trial period to test and decide before buying or not.

  • Affordability:

When finally settling on one, be sure to check whether it is the most affordable choice and whether it is within your budget. Ask if it’s priced per ear or as a pair.

Best Affordable Hearing Aids

MDHearingAid Air is ranked the most affordable hearing aid on the market. Here are some of it’s key features: affordable cost, easy to use and buy maintenance supplies for, trial period of 30-days, customer support is also very good. Here are some more affordable hearing aids:

  • Lively 2 Lite – Ranked Best Intelligent Connectivity, Personal support from qualified audiologists, Lightweight, Small and easy to wear. Adjust settings via the app and has Bluetooth streaming capabilities
  • Eargo Max – Ranked Most Compact, unobtrusive design, remote customer support, durable rechargeable batteries, and advanced noise suppression.
  • Audicus Dia II – Ranked Most Moisture-Resistant, free 45-day trial, 12-month warranty, unlimited specialist support, low-cost monthly membership options
  • Hear.com Horizon – Ranked Best Rechargeable hearing aid, remote-audiology system, free 45-day trial, offers over one thousand medical-grade devices, and an in-person visit with an audiologist is not required.

Happy searching!!!