Mobile version - What Do You Mean Medicare Doesn't Cover Hearing Aids?

Cover page - What Do You Mean Medicare Doesn't Cover Hearing Aids?Illustrated Frank Lin with thought bubble: “I hate this part. Medicare will cover hearing tests, but that's it"You're not alone - Nearly 2 out of 3 Medicare beneficiaries has hearing loss. It could be so much better.Hearing loss isn't just an inconvenience. It's the #1 risk factor for dementia and is linked to other health issues.And the economic costs of not treating it are staggering - by some estimates $3.1 billion in excess medical expenditures.At the same time, there are no health risks to treating hearing loss. And the potential benefits are clear. When Medicare began in 1965 effective treatments for hearing loss were limited and we didn't understand the health impacts of hearing loss in older adults Traditional Medicare doesn't cover hearing aids or the services of an audiologist. Some Medicare Advantage plans that may have some coverage for hearing, these plans don't do much.The problem is, these medicare advantage plans still involve substantial out-of-pocket costs. They may include credits or discounts that still leave the patient on the hook for thousands of dollars.Patient comments, "So this system seems to leave out a lot of people. And I need help now! I've stopped going out! I can't hear conversations! Frank Lin: Well, the system can be fixed.  Congress Already did part of the job of expanding access with the bipartisan OTC Hearing Aid Act of 2017.Soon, companies like Bose and Apple can enter the market to make quality OTC hearing aids that will be drastically more affordable.Patient: That's great but I can't even change my ring tone!  how do I choose a device? know how to use it? make sure it fits? Frank Lin: An audiologist could help you by providing these hearing care support services which, along with hearing aids, are each a distinct and important component of treating hearing loss.Medicare could cover audiologists to provide these support services to help seniors with hearing loss using OTC hearing aids. Audiologist: For seniors with greater levels of hearing loss who can't benefit from OTC hearing aids, medicare could also cover prescription hearing aids, along with support services.That way audiologists can guide patients through all the choices and help them best address their hearing loss.Summary language around the pillars that would make for robust Medicare coverage of hearing care and hearing aids