If you’ve recently been diagnosed with hearing loss, or if you even think you might have hearing loss but haven’t yet made an appointment, you’re probably wondering if your health insurance will cover the cost of hearing aids. The unfortunate truth is that most plans do not; however, available benefits are extremely variable, so the best thing to do is to check with your insurance company directly. There should be a phone number printed on the back of your insurance card for this type of inquiry.
When insurance coverage for hearing aids is available, it can take a number of forms. Sometimes it will be a flat amount to put toward hearing aids. Other times it will be expressed as a percentage, although the catch is that you absolutely must ask the company what the maximum allowable charge is, as the percentage covered is the percentage of the maximum allowable, not of the total cost of the hearing aids. And some insurance companies provide a “benefit” in the form of access to a third-party discount plan, which isn’t really insurance coverage at all. Typically the benefit is available on a prescribed schedule, such as once every three years or five years.
If you call your insurance company yourself, there are a few questions that you will need to ask. First, make sure you ask if there is an age limit to the benefit. Many states require that health insurers pay for hearing aids, but only for children. Second, ask if there is a requirement that you see particular hearing care providers; there are plans out there that require you to get your hearing care at a hearing center that is owned by the insurance company. Third, if you are required to go through a discount plan or program, you’ll want to find out what service is included. Many plans offer a “discount” which isn’t really any cheaper than the hearing aids would have been anyway, but only include three follow-up visits with the contracted provider. You may be able to get the hearing aids for the same or similar pricing with all the follow-up service included if you go to the provider directly, making the “discount plan” a pretty lousy deal!
If this sounds like a lot to navigate, we agree! Insurance can be complicated, and when you’re looking into something like hearing aid insurance where coverage is rare and the options are all over the map, it’s hard to understand your options. That’s why, if you’re working with Earlux, we will call your insurance company on your behalf and find out all the relevant information. If you are lucky enough to have hearing aid coverage that can be used with us – and we accept most health plans – we will also handle the billing, so you don’t have to submit the invoice to your insurance for reimbursement.
What if your insurance plan doesn’t cover hearing aids? That puts you in the same boat as the majority of folks who need hearing aids. At Earlux, we do everything we can to make paying for your hearing aids as painless as possible. We offer interest-free financing options to fit most budgets, and we can help you with the application and approval process. We understand that most people don’t walk around with thousands of dollars in their pockets! It’s best to start by calling 1-800-4-EARLUX and scheduling a consultation with one of our Hearing Pros, who will be able to answer your questions about insurance and financing. Hearing care is important, and we are here to help!