Medicare Hearing Test
Many people are aware that Medicare pays for some hearing tests. Yet there is plenty of misunderstanding about what type of hearing tests and products are covered by Medicare.
Routine Hearing Exams
Routine hearing tests – the type that often detect early hearing loss – are not covered by Medicare. If you simply want a test to get your hearing checked out, Medicare will not pay for it.
This gap in Medicare coverage is one of many. As you may be aware, Medicare was never designed to pay 100% of anyone’s healthcare costs. As far as routine hearing examinations are concerned, Medicare will not chip in a penny. While Medicare leaves many gaps in health coverage, few are more obvious than the fact Medicare will not pay for routine hearing tests.
Hearing loss is a major concern to the general Medicare population, with over a third of people over 65 experiencing hearing loss in some form as a result of aging. By age 85 nearly half of Americans suffer hearing loss.
For many people, the solution to hearing loss is as simple as getting a hearing aid. Hearing aids have developed tremendously in recent years, becoming more dependable and so small that they are often hardly even noticeable to either the observer or the wearer. Most important, they greatly reduce negative effects of hearing loss and can improve the quality of life of many people on Medicare.
However, hearing aids are expensive, often costing several thousand dollars. When you add maintenance and replacement costs, hearing aids represent a major investment. As with routine hearing tests, Medicare will not pay anything toward the cost of a hearing aid.
Original Medicare Part A and Part B will not cover costs associated with routine hearing tests or hearing aids. As a result, many people find the coverage they need in these areas by enrolling in senior hearing plans or Medicare Advantage plans that include hearing coverage.
Diagnostic Hearing Exams
Diagnostic hearing exams are the only type of hearing exams that Medicare covers. These diagnostic exams are ordered by a medical provider, who must determine they are necessary in order to learn whether a Medicare recipient requires any sort of medical treatment. They are not ordered simply to assess hearing loss.
For diagnostic hearing tests ordered by a doctor, Medicare Part B will pay 80 percent of the Medicare-approved amount, and the recipients getting the tests are required to pay the remaining costs out of pocket. If the tests are performed in a hospital outpatient setting, copayments will also apply. People receiving diagnostic hearing tests are also responsible for the Medicare Part B deductible. Some Medicare supplement plans will eliminate many or all of these costs.
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