Does Medicaid Cover Hearing Aids?
- Hearing aids can improve the quality of life for those with hearing impairments. Depending on the state you live in, Medicaid may cover hearing aids. Find out more.
Medicaid is a state and federal program that provides free and low-cost health services for those who meet income, asset and need-based guidelines. While the federal government has regulations that states must follow, each state runs its own Medicaid program and has its own rules for eligibility and coverage. Whether Medicaid covers hearing aids depends on where you live and the program rules specific to your state.
Medicaid Coverage for Hearing Aids
Hearing aids can have a significant impact on your quality of life if you have mild to moderate hearing loss in one or both ears. In some states, Medicaid covers some or all of the costs associated with hearing services, including hearing aids. States revise their scope of coverage as often as every one to three years, so it’s important to check your state’s Medicaid website to verify coverage information.
Does Medicaid Cover Hearing Aids for Children?
Those aged 21 and under who are enrolled in Medicaid have hearing services covered under the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment Program, regardless of the state they live in. EPSDT covers a range of services for children and adolescents at risk for hearing loss, including:
- Audiological assessments periodically or whenever a doctor, parent, educator or developmental professional suspects a problem
- Evaluation for hearing aids
- Any hearing services or devices deemed medically necessary, including further testing, hearing aids, replacement batteries and cochlear implants
Each state has its own schedule for how often beneficiaries receive these services based on the advice of medical organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Does Medicaid Cover Hearing Aids for Adults?
While Medicaid-eligible hearing services for those aged 21 and under are fairly consistent nationwide, coverage for adults varies considerably by state.
Medicaid Coverage by State
Alaska’s Medicaid program may cover hearing aids when services are determined medically necessary and prescribed and ordered by a licensed health care professional. Other services may include diagnostic testing, rehabilitative therapy and hearing aid accessories and repairs.
Medicaid enrollees in California may be eligible to have a portion of the cost of a hearing aid covered if the aids are prescribed by an attending physician or otolaryngologist and supplied by a hearing aid dispenser.
Connecticut’s Medicaid program may cover hearing aids following a licensed health care professional’s medical evaluation. Rules regarding where the individual obtains their hearing aids apply.
Medicaid beneficiaries in Florida may have hearing aids covered when they obtain hearing evaluations from licensed otolaryngologists, otologists, audiologists or hearing aid specialists. They may be eligible for replacement hearing aids every three years.
In Hawaii, prosthetic devices, including hearing aids, may be covered under the state’s Medicaid Fee-For-Service Program.
Medicaid beneficiaries in Illinois may be eligible to receive basic and advanced hearing tests, including testing and evaluations related to hearing aids. The state program may also cover hearing aids, fittings, accessories, parts and repairs.
To qualify for hearing aid coverage in Indiana, prior authorization is required, and an audiologist or registered hearing aid specialist must complete and submit a medical clearance and audiometric test. The individual must also meet level-of-need criteria.
Iowa’s Medicaid program may cover services such as hearing evaluations, hearing aid consultations and purchases, ear molds and maintenance-related expenses. Individuals may also be required to meet need-based criteria. The program may pay for new hearing aids up to every four years.
Medicaid beneficiaries in Kansas may be eligible for services such as ear exams, hearing tests and evaluations. Hearing aid purchases and rentals, repairs and accessories may also be covered.
Hearing aids are covered for Medicaid beneficiaries in Michigan who have a prior authorization on file dated on or before June 30, 2009.
In Minnesota, those enrolled in Medicaid may be eligible to have services such as hearing aids, accessories, repairs and replacements covered under the state program.
Medicaid coverage for hearing aids in Missouri is limited to certain groups, including those who are blind, pregnant or living in a nursing home.
Medicaid in Montana may cover hearing aids if the individual meets certain guidelines and obtains prior approval. The state plan may also cover hearing aid repairs.
Several types of hearing aids, including behind-the-ear, in-the-ear and body hearing aids, may be covered by Nebraska’s Medicaid program.
Nevada’s Medicaid program has robust coverage for hearing services. It may cover testing and screening services, hearing aids, batteries and accessories, fittings and replacements
New Hampshire’s Medicaid program may cover hearing evaluations or hearing aid consultations every two years. The program may also cover the most cost-effective hearing aids available for the beneficiary.
Hearing aids may be partially covered for Medicaid beneficiaries in New Jersey who meet program guidelines.
Audiology services and hearing aids may be covered under New Mexico’s Medicaid program if the individual obtains prior authorization. Coverage for fittings, replacements, repairs and accessories may not be available.
Medicaid beneficiaries in New York who meet eligibility criteria may have hearing exams, ear molds, hearing aids and device repairs and replacements may have services covered under the state’s program.
Monaural hearing aids may be covered under North Dakota’s Medicaid program for those who meet impairment guidelines. The program may cover replacement aids every five years.
Medicaid beneficiaries in Ohio may be eligible to have hearing aids paid for under the state program every four years.
Oregon’s Medicaid plan may cover annual hearing aid evaluations, hearing aids and up to 60 batteries.
Hearing aid repairs and replacements may be covered under Rhode Island’s Medicaid program for qualifying individuals.
South Dakota’s Medicaid plan may cover hearing aids prescribed by a licensed health care professional. Enrollees may be eligible for hear aid replacements every three years.
The state’s Medicaid program may cover hearing aids and other hearing devices, accessories, repairs outside the warrant period and batteries as often as medically necessary.
Medicaid beneficiaries with a certain degree of hearing loss may have hearing aids covered under the state plan up to every three years.
Certain Medicaid programs in Wisconsin may cover hearing aids for eligible residents.
Binaural hearing aids may be covered under Wyoming’s Medicaid program for those who meet certain criteria. Beneficiaries may have their hearing aids replaced up to every five years.
States Without Medicaid Coverage for Hearing Aids
While many states cover the cost of hearing aids for those who meet certain guidelines, 22 states plus the District of Columbia provide no coverage for adults. These states include:
- District of Columbia
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
- West Virginia