We may receive a commission if you click certain product links below. This helps support our independent testing and research to provide free, unbiased product and service reviews for our readers. Learn More about our ad policies.

Updated onMay. 25, 2022

Does Medicare Cover Hearing Aids In 2022?

There is currently no coverage available for hearing aids under Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). There are, however, Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C) that do cover the cost of hearing aids.

Does Medicare Cover Hearing Aids In 2022?

Key Takeaways

  • Original Medicare (Parts A and B) and Medigap plans don’t cover hearing aids.
  • Both Medicare Part B and Medicare Advantage plans (Part C) provide some coverage for hearing exams.
  • Medicare Advantage plans often cover hearing aids, but the amount of coverage varies by plan.
  • You may be responsible for deductibles, copays, or coinsurance for hearing services, depending on your Medicare Advantage plan.
  • Other ways to save money on hearing aids include going through the VA, wholesale clubs, and cheap hearing aid companies, and using an FSA or Medicare MSA.

Hearing loss is common among seniors. With roughly one in three people between the ages of 65 and 75 experiencing hearing trouble, and almost half of adults over the age of 75, many Medicare recipients wonder whether they have hearing aid coverage.

Hearing aids have been excluded by Medicare coverage since it was established by Congress in 1965. Fortunately, in recent years, legislation has been brought before Congress that may has helped expand the coverage offered by Medicare for hearing aids.

This includes the following:

  • The Medicare Hearing Aid Coverage Act of 2017
  • Seniors Have Eyes, Ears, and Teeth Act
  • The Medicare Hearing Act, introduced in late 2019

The Medicare Hearing Act has yet to be approved by the House and Senate.
Under this Medicare Hearing Act, hearing aids for those with severe hearing loss would be covered. Unfortunately, this piece of legislation will not cover over-the-counter hearing aids and only includes one prescription hearing aid every five years.

This article will cover the following:

  • What is Medicare?
  • Does Medicare Cover Hearing Aids?
  • Which Plans Would Be Best To Cover the Costs of Hearing Aids?
  • How Much Do Hearing Aids Typically Cost?
  • How Much Do Hearing Aids Cost with Medicare?
  • Alternative Options To Medicare for Covering Hearing Aid Costs
  • Cheap Hearing Aids
  • Why You Can Trust Our Expert Reviews
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is Medicare?

Medicare is a health insurance plan for:

  • People 65 years and older
  • Younger people with certain disabilities
  • People with end-stage renal disease

Medicare insurance consists of multiple parts that cover different services. There are various ways to use Medicare, with options including Medigap and Medicare Advantage Plans. Exactly what your plan pays for depends on the plan you choose.

Medicare Part A: Hospital Insurance

Medicare Part A covers inpatient and hospital expenses. It’s the only type of Medicare without a monthly premium—providing you or your spouse worked 40 quarters, during which you paid Social Security taxes. Expect to pay an annual deductible along with copayments for covered expenses.

Medicare Part B: Medical Insurance

Medicare Part B provides insurance coverage for outpatient care, such as going to your primary care physician or a specialist. Unlike Part A, most people pay a monthly premium for their Part B insurance. The standard premium as of 2022 is $170.10 per month, and there is an annual deductible of $233 and a 20 percent coinsurance cost after you meet your deductible.

Combined, Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B constitute Original Medicare.

Medicare Part D: Prescription Insurance

Medicare Part D covers prescription drugs. Part D is not mandatory, and users do have to pay for coverage. You must join a medicare-approved Part D plan for coverage, and most people pay a monthly premium, annual deductible, and medication copays.

Medicare Part C/Medicare Advantage

Medicare Advantage plans (MA plans), also known as Medicare Part C plans, provide the most comprehensive medical coverage. These policies, which you must purchase from a private insurance company, offer an alternative to Original Medicare. Instead of having a Part A, Part B, and Part D plan, MA plans bundle everything into one (although not every policy provides prescription drug insurance).

A perk with Medicare Advantage plans is that many have more extensive coverage than Original Medicare. There are policies with benefits like hearing, vision, dental and fitness coverage.

Medigap

Medigap is an optional policy that you purchase from private insurance companies to fill in the “gaps” in Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B). Medigap plans cover annual deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance to various degrees. If you want prescription drug coverage, you must purchase a separate Medicare Part D policy.

Note that you cannot have both a Medicare Advantage plan and Medigap—you must choose one or the other when you want additional coverage.

Does Medicare Cover Hearing Aids?

Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) plans may cover hearing aids and hearing care services. According to Rudolf Probst, MD, with Audiology Research, “Medicare Part C plans may offer hearing benefits like hearing tests, the cost of hearing aids, and other hearing services.” Medicare Advantage plans vary, so not every policy includes hearing aid insurance. Original Medicare—that is, Part A and Part B—does not cover hearing aids.

Be sure to check with your insurer to see if your Medicare Advantage plan covers hearing services and products. You can change plans annually, so you may want to look for a plan with extensive hearing benefits if your current plan doesn’t provide this coverage.

What About Hearing Tests?

Hearing tests are one of the few hearing-related benefits of Medicare coverage. Medicare Part B covers diagnostic hearing exams. When we interviewed Dr. Probst, he explained, “Part B may cover diagnostic hearing tests if your doctor orders them to detect and diagnose a hearing problem.”

When using Part B coverage, you’ll likely be responsible for some of the cost. With Part B, you have an annual deductible and 20 percent copay for the Medicare-approved cost of the test. Both Medigap plans and Medicare Advantage plans may also pay for hearing tests, depending on the policy.

Which Plans Would Be Best To Cover the Costs of Hearing Aids?

Some of the best plans available to cover hearing aid costs are through Humana. Humana recently added many benefits to its Medicare Advantage plans. One of these benefits is hearing benefits, including coverage for the cost of hearing aids.

How Much Do Hearing Aids Typically Cost?

With no insurance to cover the cost of hearing aids, a single hearing aid may cost you well over $2,000. The price can range from $800-$4,000.

How Much Do Hearing Aids Cost with Medicare?

Hearing aid prices can cost up to $8,000 per pair without insurance, with prices being even higher for the most advanced models that you can find at local audiologist offices.

The exact cost of hearing aids with Medicare depends on the Medicare Advantage plan you select. Some policies have a $0 copay, which means you won’t pay anything for your hearing aids once you’ve met your annual deductible. Keep in mind that policy limits may restrict hearing aid coverage to a specific dollar amount.

If you’re shopping for a new Medicare Advantage plan and want a policy with generous hearing aid coverage, visit the Find a Medicare Plan page and follow the prompts for Medicare Advantage plans. Select “Hearing Coverage” under “Plan Benefits,” and then click on “Plan Details” to learn more about the hearing aid insurance.

Alternative Options To Medicare for Covering Hearing Aid Costs

Whether or not you have a Medicare Advantage plan with hearing aid coverage, there are other ways to save on hearing aids, either on their own or in combination with your Medicare benefits.

The Veterans Administration (VA)

Department of Veteran Affairs Logo

The most extensive hearing aid coverage for most veterans is through the VA. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs covers the cost of hearing aids, tests, repairs and batteries. You must first qualify and apply for VA health benefits. Once approved, schedule an appointment with the Audiology and Speech Pathology Clinic. If the audiologist recommends hearing aids, you receive coverage for the hearing aids and certain hearing aid accessories.

Wholesale Clubs

Costco Hearing Aids

According to Dr. Probst, “You can shop at wholesale clubs where you can save up to 50 percent on hearing aids.” The most popular wholesale club for hearing aids is Costco. Costco hearing aids cost between $1,300 and $2,500 per pair, and most have advanced features like Bluetooth wireless technology. In comparison, the in-person name brands (versus online options) that made our top picks for the Best Bluetooth Hearing Aids cost between $2,500 and $7,100 per pair.

Tax-Deferred Savings Accounts

Tax-favored health accounts allow tax-deferred contributions for medical expenses, including hearing aids, exams, and other services. These include flexible spending accounts (FSAs), health savings accounts (HSAs), and medical savings accounts (MSAs). However, there is a pretty big caveat: If you’re fully retired, you won’t have access to most of these accounts.

You may only contribute to an FSA through an employer, so you won’t be able to open an FSA if you’re not working. Additionally, you may only contribute to an HSA when you have a high deductible health plan (HDHP), not Medicare. That being said, if you have an HSA from before you enroll in Medicare, you can use those funds to pay for hearing services and hearing aids.

Additionally, there is something called a Medicare Medical Savings Account (Medicare MSA) that’s similar to an HSA. You only qualify for a Medicare MSA if you have a high-deductible Medicare Advantage plan (Medicare Part C plan). If you have a high-deductible Medicare Advantage plan, you may open a Medicare MSA to pay for qualified medical expenses—including hearing aids. Just know that you’ll have a high deductible before your Medicare provider pays for your medical expenses.

Nonprofit Organizations

“There are financial assistance programs where charities and foundations offer hearing aid discounts. You can save a lot by shopping through these programs,” Dr. Probst explained.

The most extensive list that we’ve come across for help with hearing aids is from the Hearing Aid Project. You can scroll through resources and click on the links of each to find more details. Another helpful resource is the Hearing Loss Association of America’s Financial Assistance page.

Sertoma

This is a program that has an organized list of state organizations that help those who need hearing aids but cannot afford them.

Audient

Audient is a national alliance of providers that helps disadvantaged individuals obtain hearing aids.

Starkey Hearing Foundation

This foundation helps people with low income gain access to hearing aids.

Miracle-Ear Foundation

The Miracle-Ear Foundation gifts hearing aids to individuals in need of them. There are eligibility standards you must meet in order to qualify as a recipient.

Lions Clubs International

These clubs help individuals in need of receiving testing and hearing aids through the Lions Affordable Hearing Aid project.

Hearing Loss Association Of America

This organization is a source of current information on financial aid available to those who need hearing services, such as hearing aids.

The National Hearing Aid Project

This organization is run by the Hearing Charities of America. This group works together to help disadvantaged individuals gain access to hearing services and hearing aids.

Hear Now

Hear Now is powered by a group of nationwide health professionals and audiologists through the Starkey Hearing Foundation. Hear Now is a program that helps low-income Americans gain access to hearing services, such as hearing aids.

Trial Programs

Reaching out about trial programs to manufacturers of hearing aids may be a great way to obtain free hearing aids in return for honest feedback on their product.

To find an organization that may be able to help you cover your hearing aid costs, it is essential that you speak with your audiologist. Connect with a licensed Medicare professional who can help provide you with more information about which Medicare Advantage plans best fit your health and budgetary needs.

Cheap Hearing Aids

A simple way to spend less on hearing aids is to opt for brands that sell more affordable hearing aids. Most low-cost hearing aid companies sell directly to the consumer through an online site. The five brands outlined below made our list of the Best Cheap Hearing Aids in 2022.

Brand
Lively
Cost Per Pair $1,450 or $2,000
Widex
Cost Per Pair $2,000–$6,000
Audicus
Cost Per Pair$998-$2,798
MDHearingAid
Cost Per Pair $799.99-$1,599.99
Eargo
Cost Per Pair $1,500-$2,950

Why You Can Trust Our Expert Review

4,000+ Hours of research
11 Experts consulted
17 Brands considered
18 Models considered
10 Models selected

Our experts research and recommend products that can help give you a better quality of life. Using our high standards and rigorous testing methodology, we’ve spent more than 4,000 hours, collectively, researching the best hearing aids to help you find the device that’s best for you. Throughout our research process, we:

  • Consulted with audiologists and geriatric care experts
  • Mystery shopped the brands
  • Surveyed hundreds of hearing aid users
  • Tested various models of hearing aids
  • Interviewed experts in the field
  • Read thousands of verified customer reviews

Our Criteria for Choosing the Best Hearing Aids

We consulted audiologists and geriatric care experts, in addition to independently testing various models. We also read thousands of verified customer reviews from trusted third parties, such as Better Business Bureau (BBB) and TrustPilot.

Through this in-depth research, we determined the following to be the most important criteria to consider when shopping for a hearing aid:

  • Price
  • Audiologist care
  • Comfort and fit
  • Warranty
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Customer service
  • Features such as Bluetooth capability and rechargeable batteries
  • Reliability

Frequently Asked Questions

Only Medicare Advantage plans offer hearing aid coverage, but not every plan includes hearing aid benefits. Neither Original Medicare (Medicare Parts A and B) nor Medigap plans cover hearing aid costs.