It’s no secret that as we age our vision and hearing start to decline. In fact, it’s estimated that nearly two-thirds of people over the age of 70 are affected by hearing loss. This can make it difficult to do once easy tasks, such as hearing conversations, your favorite TV shows, alarms and more. But it’s a small price we pay for living and long and happy life.
When you join Original Medicare, which covers Medicare Part A and Part B, you might assume that your hearing aids will be covered. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Medicare Part A covers hospital insurance, and Medicare Part B covers certain outpatient services. Medicare Part B will cover the diagnostic exam to detect if you need hearing aids. But you are 100% responsible for 100% of the costs associated with purchasing, fitting, repairing etc. if you only have Original Medicare.
Because hearing aids and their exams could leave you paying thousands out of pocket, it’s important to consider options for packages that will cover hearing aids. If you shop for a Medicare Part C plan, also known as Medicare Advantage, certain plans will cover the costs associated with hearing aids. As you shop for your coverage, this is an important question to ask when determining the best package for you. Remember that getting a hearing aid includes the cost of the device and additional expenses such as exams and fittings. Be sure to ask about that.
Another thing to keep in mind is that Medicare Part C plans are sold by private insurance companies. What is covered and how much the plans cost varies from state to state and county to county. It is very important to shop around and find a plan that fits your needs as well as your budget.
If you are currently enrolled in Original Medicare and determine that you will need to add a plan that will cover hearing aids, you will need to wait until the Open Enrollment Period – sometimes called the Annual Election Period or Annual Coordinated Enrollment Period. This period runs each year from October 15 to December 7.
If you currently experience hearing loss, or anticipate it in your future, it’s worth considering a Medicare Advantage Plan that will save you a lot of money in the end.