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DEC

Posted on Monday, December 17, 2012

Hearing Aids: Understanding Insurance Coverage

Couple on beach wants to understand their insurance coverage.

Often people are confused or mislead about what their insurance will cover when it comes to hearing aids. This confusion can lead them to hold off on treating hearing loss. Untreated hearing loss has implications on mental and physical health and treatment should not be delayed. Though any initial outlay is compensated for in long term benefits of hearing aids, that doesn't mean you need to take on the entire expense. Understanding your private insurance policy can help you find coverage for your hearing aids.

Insurance coverage/ Private Health Insurance

Private health insurance is paid for on an individual basis or offered to an individual through their employer. What your health insurance covers is determined by the plan set out by you or your employer. In order to understand what your insurance covers for hearing aids, you have to search out specific terms within the coverage agreement. Your insurance company or employer can provide the brochure with this information, and often it is found online. Below is a list of specific terms to seek out within this brochure.

What to Look For
To locate what is covered under your insurance can be difficult if you don't understand what terms your insurance might use to classify hearing aids and hearing aid services. Below is a list of terms and/or sections that you should examine in order to determine and understand coverage.

  • Hearing Benefits
  • Hearing Care or Hearing Healthcare
  • Speech and Language
  • Speech Pathology or Speech-Language Pathology
  • Audiology or Audiology Benefits
  • Rehabilitation Services or Rehabilitative Services
  • Physical or Speech Therapy
  • Diagnostic
  • If you don’t find coverage under any of these keywords, look under a catchall like Other Medically Necessary Services or Medically Necessary Therapies. Finally, remember when assessing coverage there is a difference between coverage applied to a person who is born with hearing loss or develops hearing loss over time compared to a person who has been injured or developed hearing loss because of an accident. Typically, the person who has been injured will find greater flexibility and more comprehensive coverage for hearing health care.

    Coverage Limitations to be Aware Of

    Insurance companies sometimes claim to cover “100%” of hearing aid costs, but there are hidden limitations to this coverage that the average consumer will not uncover until told by an audiologist. When speaking with your insurance company about coverage make sure to ask if the “100% coverage” includes all hearing aids or the base or starting model hearing aid. Hearing loss is specific to every individual and not every hearing aid is right for everybody. When insurance covers a 100% of the base model hearing aid, they are really only covering a portion of a more advanced hearing device. That means that the consumer will have to pay the overage. It’s best to find out if your insurance covers all hearing aids or just the base model before you see your audiologist.

    Today, more than ever, hearing aid users report higher satisfaction with listening technologies. This is due, in part, to better counseling by experienced hearing health professionals like an audiologist, but it's also due to some amazing advances in hearing aid features.

    If you'd like to learn more, see your hearing health provider. If you need help finding a hearing health provider click HERE to be connected with the largest network of trusted hearing health professionals in the nation!

    ©2011. American Hearing Aid Associates 225 Wilmington - West Chester Pike, Suite 300 Chadds Ford, PA 19317888.575.2511
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