Does Wellcare Cover Hearing Aids?
- Does Wellcare cover hearing aids? Find out the answer and other information regarding paying for hearing aids without insurance and possible tax deductions.
One in eight Americans over age 12 has some level of hearing loss. Because hearing naturally decreases with age, older adults are most at risk of developing hearing problems. If this sounds like you, hearing aids can help restore your hearing and, as a result, increase your quality of life. But hearing aids are expensive medical equipment and use advanced technology to properly function, making them a costly investment.
Wellcare is an insurance company that currently provides coverage for at least 6 million Americans. If you're looking for Wellcare Medicare hearing aid coverage, you should compare the Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plans available where you live to find out if any Wellcare plans will cover your hearing aids.
Medicare Advantage plans cover all of your Medicare Part A and Part B benefits, and most Wellcare Medicare Advantage plans offer all-in-one coverage that also includes dental, hearing, vision, prescription drugs and more, all of which aren't typically covered by Original Medicare (Parts A and B).
When Does Wellcare Pay for Hearing Aids?
Some Wellcare Medicare plans cover hearing aids, but not all of those that do are available in every state. If you need hearing aids and this type of coverage is essential to you, be sure to research the options in your area.
For example, New York residents have access to a Wellcare Medicare Advantage Plan that covers hearing aids, along with related services such as:
- Hearing exams or screenings
- Hearing aid fittings
- Annual cleanings and examinations of hearing aids
- Education on how to properly use your hearing aid
When a Wellcare Medicare plan covers hearing aids, there may be a maximum dollar amount of coverage. If your hearing aid costs more than this benefit maximum, you'll need to pay the rest out of pocket. Most plans will also supply plenty of hearing aid batteries when you purchase a hearing aid.
Most plans also require you to get your hearing-related services done at an in-network provider. You can use the Wellcare network provider search tool to find a Wellcare hearing aid provider near you.
What Happens If Hearing Loss Remains Untreated?
Many people who need hearing aids go without them because they don't think they can afford them, especially if their insurance doesn't cover these costs. But untreated hearing loss can have significant adverse effects on your mental health and physical well-being.
Some of the most common issues caused by untreated hearing loss include:
- Social isolation
- Strained interpersonal relationships
- Tinnitus (ringing in your ears)
- Sleep disruptions
- Difficulty concentrating
- General dissatisfaction with quality of life
How Much Are Hearing Aids Without Insurance?
The best hearing aids are designed using advanced technology customized to your specific needs. Each hearing aid will be fitted to its wearer and be explicitly created to correct their hearing loss. Because this technology is so advanced, a hearing aid can cost up to thousands of dollars without insurance.
If your insurance plan doesn't cover hearing aids, there are a few ways you can save on costs. These include:
- Shop around for deals
- Consider adding a supplemental hearing, vision and dental plan to your insurance
- Consider online or buying direct options
- Choose basic hearing aid models
- Ask about payment plans or financing options
- See if a club or organization you belong to offers discounts
- Ask about military, first responder, or medical personnel discounts (if applicable)
- Seek out state or federal charity organizations
You should also look into both bundled and unbundled hearing aid options. With bundled options, all (or most) of the costs associated with hearing aids are included in your total. This may consist of the hearing exam, fitting, batteries and the hearing aid. Unbundled options only include the cost of your hearing aid, which sometimes contains batteries. Although bundling may seem like the better option, it can sometimes be more expensive, depending on your available local resources.
Are Hearing Aids Tax Deductible?
Hearing aids by themselves aren't tax-deductible, but they do qualify toward your overall medical and dental deduction. However, you must itemize your medical and dental expenses if you want to take advantage of this. Medical expenses must be more than 7.5% of your adjusted income to be eligible for a deduction.
As of 2019, the average income for older individuals was $34,267 for men and $20,431 for women. For single older individuals filing their taxes based on this average, medical expenses must be at least $2,570 for men or $1,532 for women to qualify for a deduction. Other medical expenses eligible for this deduction include prescription costs, payments to health care providers, dentures, glasses and insurance premium payments.
There is a maximum deduction allowance based on your tax bracket and other considerations. If you want to ensure you get the highest possible deduction, you may want to consider working with a tax professional.
Find out if you can enroll in a Wellcare Medicare Advantage plan offering all-in-one Medicare coverage that pays for hearing aids. Request a free online plan quote or call a licensed insurance agent to talk about your options.