Should You Wait For Medicare To Cover Hearing Aids
Presently, Medicare offers no coverage for hearing aids. This may change, however, if the Senate passes the Biden administrations Build Back Better Act. The proposed changes to the Social Security Act and Medicare include coverage of hearing aids and related services. However, we dont recommend waiting until the bill comes into effect.
Even if the Build Back Better Act does come into effect, it wont be until January 21st, 2024. If you suffer from hearing loss, you should seek treatment as soon as possible. Note that based on the current version of the bill, youll only qualify for coverage, if you suffer from moderately severe to profound hearing loss. That excludes a large portion of individuals who would benefit from listening aids.
In the meantime, lets see how you can get affordable hearing aids that will help you now.
How Much Of The Cost Of Hearing Aids Does Insurance Cover
Many commercial health insurance plans do not cover hearing aids. Often, a hearing plan is an add-on with partial coverage like dental and vision benefits. For instance: A plan will pay up to a certain amount, and you are responsible for the rest. A hearing benefit may not renew annually but every 3 to 5 years.
Some states require commercial insurance plans to cover hearing aids for children. At least one state requires coverage of cochlear implants for children. A few states require commercial insurance plans to cover hearing aids for adults and children.
Hearing aid benefits vary by insurance plan. Some of the factors that determine coverage include:
Type of insurance plan
MostMedicare Advantage plans will cover hearing aids and tests, but benefits vary. Veterans with diagnosed hearing loss who are enrolled in Veterans Affairs healthcare are eligible for hearing aids at no cost. VA services include devices, fittings, repairs, and future batteries.
Medicaid must cover hearing aids for children as well as associated tests. Medicaids hearing benefits for adults vary by state. Check out our article on Medicaid’s services and benefits to find out more about your states Medicaid program.
Best For Those Who Dislike Behind
May be out of stock
Who its for: People who dislike hearing aids that drape behind the ear or folks who are very physically active.
Why its great: The Eargo 6 is a diminutive set of hearing aids they sit in each ear canal without obstructing it. This unique design may be especially appealing to people who dislike the feeling or look of traditional hearing aids, which have a sound tube or wire that drapes over the ear. The Eargo 6 provides situational sound profiles that you can activate by tapping the earpiece or toggling settings in the app. The IPX7 waterproof rating means the Eargo 6 can handle sweat and physically active lifestyles, even if you dunk your head into water. Though the 45-day return policy is not the most generous among the devices we tested, that should be sufficient time for you to allow your ears to acclimate to the Eargo 6 and decide whether this set is right for you. A two-year warranty covers any technical hiccups, and in those two years, you get one-time loss protection. However, the Eargo 6s Bluetooth connectivity is only for adjusting settings this pair cannot stream music or calls, so if you want those things, youll have to rely on headphones or your devices built-in speakers.
Also Check: Free Online Courses For Seniors
What Does A Hearing Aid Do
A hearing aid is a small electronic device that helps compensate for mild to profound hearing loss. Hearing aids come in a wide variety of styles and sizes and can be worn by people of all ages struggling with hearing loss.
Hearing aids are medical devices regulated by the Food and Drug Administration . They are fit and sold by state-licensed hearing care professionalsaudiologists typically have the most training with them. A handful of manufacturers dominate the market and produce hundreds of types of aids with various components and technology levels.
How Are Hearing Aids Different From Sound
Both devices amplify sound for users. Hearing aids are medical devices used to improve impaired hearing. PSAPs are considered consumer devices for people with normal hearing to use in certain situations. PSAPs are sold over the counter.
Recommended Reading: Open Care Senior Plan Cost
Is There A Cheaper Alternative To Hearing Aids
PSAPs are cheaper than hearing aids but arent designed to be a cheaper alternative to hearing aids. PSAPs are not the same thing as medical-grade hearing aids. Whereas PSAPs amplify all sounds equally, hearing aids can be adjusted to amplify those sounds the user has trouble hearing while reducing background noise and other distracting sounds.
PSAPs cannot be modified to meet a certain hearing profile the way hearing aids can be. PSAPs are fine for recreational use by people with normal hearing, but they are not a good alternative to hearing aids for someone with hearing loss.
Have questions about this review? Email us firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check Your Insurance Coverage And Compare Prices
While Medicare doesnt cover hearing aids, many private health insurances do. Third-party care providers like Epic and TruHearing work with insurances to provide hearing care benefits to their members. If your insurance is among them, you could get a large portion of the cost covered.
If your insurance covers hearing aids, be sure to ask whether they will accept out-of-network care providers. If they do, you could reach out to different hearing clinics to compare prices. Often, audiologists can offer you a better deal than your insurances third-party care provider.
Don’t Miss: Free Online Tax Filing For Seniors
How We Chose Best Cheap Hearing Aids
With so many hearing aid manufacturers to choose from, we had our work cut out for us when choosing our favorites. No single hearing aid will be perfect for everyone, but all the manufacturers on this list meet the following criteria:
- Impressive audio: Sophisticated devices have premium features such as custom soundscapes and smartphone compatibility, but a hearing aid should deliver quality sound first and foremost.
- Affordability: Many manufacturers list the per-ear price for hearing aids, so determining the actual cost can be somewhat tricky. All the manufacturers on this list offer hearing aids as a pair for less than $2,000.
- Solid customer support: Like any advanced technology, hearing aids often come with a learning curve. We appreciate it when a manufacturer offers guidance not only during the purchasing process, but also throughout your use of the device.
- Trial periods: Each of these manufacturers offer trial periods on their devices, enabling you to be sure it works for you before you waste thousands of dollars.
- Long-lasting batteries: Whether theyre powered by rechargeable or disposable batteries, a good hearing aid needs to work when you need it most. All the devices on this list can hold enough juice for daily use.
Try A Variety Of Styles
Your audiologist can help you find the most comfortable and appropriate fit style for you, whether youre more comfortable with a device that sits mostly behind your ear or a more discreet option that sits fully within your ear canal. The look of a hearing aid is important to most people, but the feel of the device is also highly important as hearing aids are meant to be worn long-term.
The most commonly found hearing aid fit styles are BTE , RIC , and CIC . Some of the brands listed above also offer a custom-molded earpiece for which audiologists must fit the individual customer. If you find that most of the fit styles you try seem uncomfortable, consider a custom fitting.
Also Check: Exercises For Seniors To Improve Balance
Hearing Aids On Finance
Before discussing some of the different affordable hearing aid options, its important to be aware that many companies are helping ordinary Americans by offering hearing aids on finance. If you cannot afford to make a lump sum payment for hearing aids, you may be able to spread out the cost over a specific period. Remember, a significant part of the cost of hearing aids comes from the consultation fees, tests, custom fitting, and any adjustments that need to be made. Here are a few of our favorites if youre looking to upgrade to an affordable pair of hearing aids:
How Much Will They Cost
It’s too soon to say for sure, but one estimate puts the average around $600 to over $1,000 for a pair. The White House said the FDA’s new rule could save someone nearly $3,000 for a pair of hearing aids.
There will probably be a wide price range for over-the-counter hearing aids, similar to the varying price range for prescription hearing aids, which stretch from a few hundred dollars to over $5,000 for a pair, depending on what you need or how many bells and whistles you’d like your hearing aid to have. So, even if they’re technically more affordable, they still won’t be cheap. While over-the-counter hearing aids solve an accessibility problem and help people get their foot in the door for what Ashby-Scabis calls a “starter hearing aid,” the price will likely still be a barrier for some people.
“The majority of people who can’t afford that $1,000 pair of hearing aids aren’t going to be able to afford the $700 pair of over-the-counter hearing aids, or the $500 pair of hearing aids,” she said.
Recommended Reading: Life Insurance For Seniors Aarp
Reduce The Risk Of Dementia
One of the most significant risks associated with untreated hearing loss is that it severely increases the risk of the person suffering from hearing loss developing Dementia. This is a genuine possibility, and studies have shown that untreated hearing loss can reduce the age at which the onset of Dementia begins as well. Therefore, if you want to not develop Dementia, get yourself a pair of hearing aids as soon as possible.
Buyers Guide To Shopping For Hearing Aids
Shopping for hearing aids is a process, not a single task. In many ways, the process is similar to buying prescription eyeglasses, but its considerably more complex and expensive. The steps below will help you understand how to start down the path to getting hearing aids that are right for you.
The Pros and Cons of Buying Hearing Aids from Phonak
- Android Connectivity: The Audeo Marvel hearing aid is one of the best hearing aids on the market for Android users. Android phone users tend to have a lot of trouble finding hearing aids that connect well with their phones through Bluetooth. Many brands do connect to Android phones, but only with additional Bluetooth accessories or only to a few models of Android phones. Hearing aids from the Marvel product line can usually universally connect to Androids.
- Low-Maintenance Design: The Lyric model hearing aid, listed in the table, represents a unique hearing aid option perfect for some situations. A hearing aid that fits deep within the ear canal and remains there for a few months at a time is a very low maintenance option, though it does require multiple office visits in a year. For someone who wants something they can wear 24/7 and does not need frequent adjustments, this is truly something thats difficult to find elsewhere.
You May Like: At& t Internet Discount For Seniors
Why Are Hearing Aids So Expensive
A variety of factors influence the price youll pay for hearing aids, and understanding these factors allows you to make a wise choice about whats important to you and where you can save money. For example, audiologists usually charge more for in-person support than specialists who help you with your hearing aids online or over the phone.
This is because in-person, brick-and-mortar clinics have more overhead costs compared to online companies, such as rent, maintenance, and staffing . They also have to pay middlemen to sell their hearing aids, while direct-to-consumer companies cut out those costs by taking care of the marketing, sales, and after-purchase support themselves. Having this knowledge allows you to save money if youre comfortable with an online process.
Will Vocational Rehabilitation Pay For Hearing Aids
Vocational rehabilitation helps people who have disabilities get or keep a job. If you are an older adult who has yet to retire and need hearing aids to perform your job duties or obtain employment, you may be able to receive a hearing aid through your state’s vocational rehabilitation program. Seniors can see if their state offers hearing aid coverage and if they qualify for vocational rehabilitation services by contacting their state office.
Widex Evoke Hearing Aids
You May Like: At& t Cell Phone Plans For Seniors
Hearing Loss Association Of America
The Hearing Loss Association of America provides information about a number of financial aid assistance programs available to eligible individuals, including children, college students, working people, and veterans. Although the association does not supply individuals with hearing aids, it acts as a repository of up-to-date information about a number of financial aid options, including Medicaid.
Best Affordable Hearing Aids For Seniors
We think that the Key 4 hearing aids are the best affordable hearing aids for seniors. Resound Key hearing aids are Resound’s new essential range for 2021. Designed to work easily, comfortably and reliably with your own unique ears for a better hearing experience. You can benefit from accessing device guidance that will assist you and evolve with your daily listening experiences.
You can also personalise your listening experience and access audiology guidance remotely. This means that you can request hearing care from your audiologist wherever you are.
You May Like: Life Insurance Seniors Over 70
Are Costco Hearing Aids Good
Big-box warehouse store Costco sells different types of hearing aids under its Kirkland Signature label and other brands. If you are a Costco member, you can have a free hearing test at a Costco Hearing Aid Center.
As a discount warehouse, Costco offers competitive prices. Hearing Aid Center staff members dont work on commissions, which avoids a high-pressure selling environment.
Preventing Going Completely Deaf
Hearing loss is a tricky thing to deal with. After all, one of the most important senses at our disposal is hearing, and when we lose that hearing, life gets a lot more complicated. Now, what could be worse than a bit of hearing loss? The answer is simple, and that is, going deaf ultimately. One of the ways you can stop your hearing loss from getting exaggerated is to get a hearing aid device as soon as possible after the first onset of symptoms. Do not delay, or you may risk yourself going completely deaf.
You May Like: Government Benefits For Seniors Over 60
How Can I Tell The Difference
Proper treatment of hearing loss requires a device programmed to your specific hearing deficiencies. For example, if you have problems hearing high frequencies, your hearing aid should amplify only high-frequency sounds. Look for products that are self-fitting, meaning you program them yourself. Its not hard to do at all, and it will save you a lot of money.
Another clue is price. Products selling for $200 $300 or less should raise a red flag. These are usually questionable products marketed by small companies. While they may work well enough for some people, theres not enough research to know if theyre safe or effective for everyone.
Passage of the OTC hearing aid legislation could increase competition among providers causing lower prices. I hope well see good products available at this price level, but were not there yet.
Most reputable providers will offer at least a 45-day risk-free trial period as well as a one-year warranty. Many also provide telecare and support after the sale. A company providing these services lets consumers know theyre in it for the long run, not just for a quick sale.
Best Cheap Hearing Aids For Seniors
Our top picks for affordable hearing aids
Ruth Reisman, AuD MBA, is a licensed audiologist and hearing aid dispenser in New York state and is certified by the American Speech and Hearing Association. She is an associate adjunct professor for the CUNY Graduate Center and Touro College in their audiology and communication departments. Dr. Reismans research and methods in the assessment and treatment of hearing disorders in some of the most challenging cases have been awarded and recognized within the field of audiology. Learn More about Dr. Reisman
SeniorLiving.org is compensated when you click on the provider links listed on this page. This compensation does not impact our ratings or reviews.
Thank you for your inquiry
Someone will be in touch shortly
Don’t Miss: Best Cell Phone For Seniors With Dementia
Best Affordable Hearing Aids For Tinnitus
We believe that Resound Key 4 hearing aids are the best affordable hearing aids for tinnitus. We’ve chosen this hearing aid again, as Resound Key is not just a great affordable hearing aid – it also includes Resound Relief app, which offers tinnitus relief to wearers. It gives you the freedom to choose between a combination of sound therapy, relaxation techniques and exercises, meditation and guidance while you stream audio directly to your devices.
Resound has also made bespoke soundscapes possible with the choice of library sounds and balancing the sound between both ears. This can be an effective way to relieve tinnitus and symptom management over time.