Hearing aids can be a life-changing investment, but for some it may impose a financial burden that accompanies investing in restoring your hearing.
Recent changes in legislation have improved the accessibility and affordability of hearing aids. Passed in 2017, the Over the counter Hearing Aid Act is designed to enable adults with perceived mild-to-moderate hearing loss to access over the counter hearing aids without being seen by a hearing care professional, saving costs that come along with appointments, tests and professional services.
Individuals may find comfort in working with a licensed healthcare practitioner to conduct the tests, fitting, and eventual selection of a hearing aid. However, this does not negate the fact that there will be a increase in cost in comparison to over the counter hearing aid alternatives. Health insurance plans can provide a source of financial respite, covering some if not all of the costs associated with hearing aids, including testing, treatment and fitting, repairs and replacements.
Many companies offer health insurance policies as part of their contract of employment, but these aren’t afforded to everyone and many of these policies may not cover hearing aids. In fact, hearing aids are generally not covered by health insurance policies, though insurers sometimes offer additional hearing, vision and or dental plans that may include coverage for hearing tests and hearing aid fittings.
Where you reside can have a significant impact on required insurance coverage afforded to you in covering hearing aid costs. Required hearing aid insurance coverage varies from state to state depending on hearing aid law. Each state has its own mandates on coverage, but even some insurance plans are exempt from these mandates. For example, self-insured health plans are not required to abide by state laws mandating hearing aid coverage. It’s advised to contact your respective plan provider to see if your plan includes state-mandated hearing aid coverage.
Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, and Texas require that health benefit plans in their state pay for hearing aids for children. Wisconsin requires coverage for both hearing aids and cochlear implants for children.
Arkansas, Connecticut, Illinois, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island require coverage for both children and adults.
The actual coverage requirements will also vary per state, which is why it is suggested you contact your plan provider to see exactly which hearing benefits you are entitled to. Ages covered, provider qualifications, benefit period and the costs covered will all be varying factors depending on the given state.
Bear in mind state laws, particularly those relating to hearing aid law, may change and so it’s advised to keep up to date with them in the case that you are either left in a more financially compromised position or may be afforded greater contributions to the costs of having hearing aids.
If you’d like more information on exactly what rights are afforded to you based on where you live one of our expert hearing professionals will be able to help. Schedule in a free consultation today to speak to one of our team and take the first step towards rejuvenating your hearing!
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