Does Medicare Cover Hearing Aids?

In this article...
  • Original Medicare doesn’t cover hearing aids, but some Medicare Advantage plans might. Find out what Medicare hearing care benefits are available and how to get them.
Woman smiles and fits on her hearing aids

Medicare is the federal government’s main health insurance program for older adults. As part of the program, over 60 million seniors get basic screening and treatment services, as well as prescription drugs and other vital services.

The Medicare program does not cover every health need, however, and some major gaps in coverage leave some seniors paying out of pocket for some services.

Routine hearing care is part of one of the gaps in Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) coverage, and hearing aids are also not covered, though many seniors are able to get hearing tests and needed medical supplies.

Some Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plans, however, do cover hearing care and hearing aids. Learn more about what hearing care Original Medicare does cover, and learn how to find a Medicare Advantage plan that covers your hearing aids.

What Hearing Care Does Medicare Part B Cover?

Regular hearing exams, screening services, hearing aid fittings and hearing aid maintenance are not included in Original Medicare, though some hearing-related services may be covered by Medicare Part B in certain situations.

A primary care physician may, for example, order a hearing test as part of the diagnostic work for dizziness or vertigo. Hearing tests may also be part of certain neurological exams, cancer screenings and other preventive care.

Note that, in 2020, beneficiaries must pay the full Part B deductible of $198 for the year before Part B benefits kick in, and screening services can include a 20% out-of-pocket coinsurance cost to enrollees after they meet their Part B deductible.

Some Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) Plans May Cover Hearing Aids

Original Medicare is not the only way for beneficiaries to get medically necessary services. Medicare Advantage is another option for care.

Medicare Advantage plans, also known as Medicare Part C, are privately issued health insurance policies that offer all of the same services as Original Medicare Parts A and B, along with many other services included as part of the package.

These extra services can include hearing care, along with corrective surgery and assistive devices, such as hearing aids.

Not all Part C plans include hearing coverage, and plan details vary between companies and states. It's important to check with a plan representative before switching Medicare benefits from Original Medicare to Part C.

Most Medicare Advantage plans include prescription drug coverage, and some plans may offer additional benefits that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, such as routine dental and vision care, home modifications such as bathroom grab bars, non-emergency transportation and more.

Other Ways to Pay the Cost of Hearing Aids

While Original Medicare does not pay for hearing aids, seniors may still be able to find a way to get help with the cost of assistive devices through other channels.

Standalone Insurance

Beneficiaries who are enrolled in Original Medicare have the option to enroll in a standalone hearing insurance policy.

In exchange for a monthly premium, most plans cover all or a substantial fraction of screening costs, as well as hearing aids and other hearing care.

These types of hearing plans are not provided by or sanctioned by Medicare, though many insurance companies design their hearing plans to be compatible with Medicare benefits. Not all plans pay for all services, and it is important to check with a plan representative to find out what a policy covers.