Our Guide To Hearing Aids Insurance Coverage

Although traditional Medicare doesn’t cover hearing aids, almost 80% of our survey respondents did not pay completely out of pocket for them.

Updated: Apr 06, 2023
Medically Reviewed by:

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Friends or family members may have suggested you have your hearing checked, or maybe your audiologist recommended hearing aids after your most recent evaluation. Wherever you are in your hearing journey, you may be avoiding the next step because you’re worried about the cost of hearing aids. 

Fortunately, many can find some coverage options for their hearing aids. Almost 80% of AgingInPlace.org survey respondents did not pay completely out of pocket for their hearing aids. These individuals reported using personal insurance, Medicare Advantage, or funds from a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA) to cover at least a portion of their hearing aid expenses. 

Only five states (Arkansas, Connecticut, Illinois, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island) require insurance providers to offer hearing aid coverage for all ages. This doesn’t mean other states don’t offer hearing aid coverage for all ages. It’s just not mandatory by law. Always speak with your hearing care provider to discuss your insurance coverage. 

Learn more about your coverage options and other financial resources to help pay for hearing aids.

Key Takeaways

  • Hearing aids costs range from $1,000 to over $5,000 per pair. 
  • Original Medicare (Parts A and B) does not cover hearing aids, but some Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C) cover hearing aid costs.
  • FSA or HSA funds, AARP discounts, and interest-free financing may help with hearing aid coverage.

How Much Do Hearing Aids Cost?

Prescription hearing aids can cost $1,000 to more than $5,000 per pair depending on the device’s size, technology, features and custom settings. This is a high price tag for many individuals with untreated hearing loss. Fortunately, a ruling in August 2022 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has helped make affordable hearing aids more accessible.

OTC Hearing Aids Cost

The FDA established regulations for brands to sell medical-grade hearing aid devices, known as over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids, directly to consumers. OTC hearing aids treat mild-to-moderate hearing impairment and have much of the same technology as prescription hearing aids. Our top OTC hearing aid picks are priced from $99 to $2,450 per pair. OTC hearing aids are generally less expensive because they don’t require a hearing exam or prescription from an audiologist.

Access to hearing health care is vital for the millions of Americans experiencing hearing loss,  especially because up to 80% of people who could benefit from a hearing aid don’t have one

Claire Collord Johnson, an audiologist with UnitedHealthcare Hearing

Does Medicare Pay For Hearing Aids? 

Some Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C) cover hearing aids, exams, and other hearing health costs. Medicare Advantage Plans are offered through private insurance carriers approved by Medicare, like Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, and Humana. Original Medicare (Parts A and B) does not cover hearing aids.

“To help make hearing aids more affordable, check with your health plan to determine if any discounts may be available, including through employer-sponsored and Medicare Advantage plans,” Johnson advised. “For instance, the majority of UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plans in 2023 will offer a $0 hearing exam and all members will have a hearing aid benefit, including the ability to purchase custom-programmed hearing aids with no out-of-pocket costs or a per-device copay for as low as $175 depending on the plan.”

You can compare Medicare Advantage Plans and enroll in a plan directly on Medicare.gov. When you enter your ZIP code, you’ll see all available Medicare Advantage Plans in your area.

All listed plans have a summary of plan benefits to the right. If Hearing is listed as a plan benefit, you can click the Plan Details button to get more in-depth coverage details.

For example, the Humana Medicare Advantage Plan lists hearing coverage under Extra Benefits. Coverage includes: 

  • $20 copay for a hearing exam
  • $0 copay for a hearing aid fitting/evaluation 
  • $299–$599 copay for all types of hearing aids

You can review the benefit’s limitations by clicking the Limits apply dropdown button. If you have questions about the provider’s hearing aid coverage, call the designated phone number listed in the Overview section. A Medicare Advantage Plan representative can help you understand any coverage limitations.

Rachel Magann Faivre, Au.D. and owner of Oklahoma City-based ASH Audiology, advised that before signing up for a plan, you should look at available providers in your area to make sure there are some nearby. She suggested calling at least one of the providers in your area to ask if they limit how many Medicare Advantage plan patients they accept. 

“These plans typically have very poor reimbursement for the provider, so depending on where someone lives, there may not be anyone who actually will see them,” said Faivre. 

Hearing Aids Medicare Part B Coverage 

While Medicare Part B does not offer coverage for hearing aids, it may cover a hearing exam if it is ordered by your doctor or healthcare provider to detect hearing loss. 

If you have a Medicare supplemental plan, also known as Medigap, check your plan details to see if you have hearing aid coverage. For more information about Medicare Parts A, B, and C, as well as Medigap coverage, read Medicare and hearing aid coverage.

Hearing Aids Medicaid Coverage

Medicaid coverage for hearing aids varies by state. The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) has a comprehensive list of Medicaid coverage for hearing services for adults in each state.

The following states offer some form of Medicaid coverage for hearing aids as of this writing:

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Vermont
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Always check your state Medicaid coverage on Medicaid.gov for the most up-to-date coverage information.

What Are Other Hearing Aid Coverage Options? 

Sifting through what insurance providers do and do not cover takes time. The following resources may help you find more options to help reduce the cost of your hearing aids.

The Department of Veterans Affairs Coverage

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides free hearing aids, as well as coverage for equipment adjustments, battery replacement, and cleaning. The VA also provides compensation for tinnitus for those who qualify. You must be enrolled in the VA health benefits program to be eligible for coverage.

AARP Hearing Aid Discounts

AARP members receive discounts on hearing aids and hearing health services through UnitedHealthcare Hearing. AARP hearing aid discounts include: 

  • 20% off prescription hearing aids
  • 15% off hearing accessories
  • Free hearing test and consultation
  • Discounted prices for OTC hearing aids 

AARP members are also eligible for a free, at-home, hearing screening from The National Hearing Test once a year. 

Using FSA or HSA Funds

Hearing aids can be purchased with flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA) funds. Both account types allow you to set aside pretax money to pay for certain medical expenses. You can sign up for an FSA or HSA through your employer. 

FSA funds are lost if you do not spend them by the end of the year. You also can’t access funds after retirement. If you’re retiring in the next few years, plan ahead by using your FSA funds to purchase hearing aids. 

An HSA is only available if you have a high-deductible health insurance plan. HSA funds roll over into the next year. You can access your HSA account and contribute to it after you retire, as long as you’re not enrolled in Medicare. 

Financing Options 

Many hearing care providers offer financing for hearing aids and hearing health services. Financing allows you to pay for your hearing aids over time instead of all at once. 

Two common financing options are CareCredit and the Wells Fargo Health Advantage® credit card program. You must apply and be approved by CareCredit or Wells Fargo Bank to use this payment option. 

You can use CareCredit for the following hearing products and services:

  • Audiology appointments
  • Earmolds
  • Hearing devices
  • Hearing tests
  • Implants
  • Regular hearing check-ups
  • Regular hearing device re-fittings
  • Tinnitus treatment

The Wells Fargo Health Advantage® credit card can be used for the following: 

  • ENT procedures
  • Hearing aids
  • Hearing aid accessories 
  • Hearing exams

Both programs have interest-free financing for a “promotion period.” If you pay off your hearing aids within the set promotion period—usually 12 months or less—you don’t have to pay interest on top of your monthly payments. 

If you don’t pay off your full balance by the end of the promotion period, you will also have to pay the accumulated interest from the date of purchase.

Confirm with your hearing care provider if they accept Care Credit, Wells Fargo Health Advantage® credit card, or other financing options before applying. 

Faivre pointed out that some online sales from clinics are starting to offer various payment options that are common in retail, such as paying in four installments. 

Dr. Magann Faivre also encouraged shoppers to research local loan programs for hearing aids, “Most states have a loan program that rivals or beats CareCredit or Wells Fargo that’s specifically made for people who need medical loans. In Oklahoma, a local bank in conjunction with one of our state universities does this.

“It can be advantageous when people have bad credit, need financing for a low amount (under about $300), or need financing for three or more years. A local audiologist should be able to point people towards these types of local resources available.”

Bottom Line 

Hearing aids help you reconnect with your loved ones and your surroundings. More than 87% of our survey respondents consider their hearing aids a worthwhile purchase.

Depending on your eligibility, you may receive hearing aid coverage through Medicare Advantage or Veterans Affairs.

Noninsurance options, such as being an AARP member, using FSA or HSA funds, or paying with interest-free financing, can reduce the cost of the best hearing aids

Hearing aid coverage is also available for Cherokee Nation citizens. The Hearing Aid Expansion Act of 2022 extended the Cherokee National Health Service’s hearing aid program to Cherokee Nation citizens located anywhere in the US. Eligible citizens can receive two free hearing aids.

Frequently Asked Questions

Many insurance companies consider hearing aids elective medical devices instead of essential medical devices. This does not mean hearing aids aren’t crucial for millions of people with hearing loss. Because hearing loss is a common health issue and hearing aids often cost $1,000+, some insurance companies may want to avoid this common, expensive claim.

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MEDICALLY REVIEWED BY

Dr. Magann Faivre is an audiologist with a passion for being active in audiology organizations, particularly concerning advocacy, patients’ rights issues, and teaching student leadership. She intimately grew up around hearing loss and empathizes with patients when discussing their hearing journey. She is dedicated to creating a positive and integrative hearing healthcare experience so patients leave informed and confident. Dr. Magann Faivre currently serves on The Audiology Project’s Board of Directors and on Northern Illinois University’s Advisory Board. She is a longstanding fellow of the American Academy of Audiology and Academy of Doctors of Audiology.

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Breaux Emily. "Our Guide To Hearing Aids Insurance Coverage" AgingInPlace.org. Apr 06, 2023. Web. Mar 03, 2024. <https://aginginplace.org/hearing-aids/guide-to-hearing-aids-insurance-coverage/>.

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Breaux E. (2023, Apr 06). Our Guide To Hearing Aids Insurance Coverage. AgingInPlace.org. https://aginginplace.org/hearing-aids/guide-to-hearing-aids-insurance-coverage/

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Emily Breaux, "Our Guide To Hearing Aids Insurance Coverage," last modified: Apr 06, 2023, https://aginginplace.org/hearing-aids/guide-to-hearing-aids-insurance-coverage/.