Hearing loss is one of the most common conditions to affect adults as they age, and it can have a significant impact particularly when it comes to their quality of life. Sound is such a big part of your everyday life: the doorbell rings, your dog barks, your friends chat and laugh… you need to be able to hear well in order to enjoy all of these experiences fully.
So, when someone begins to notice that they aren’t catching every word their friend says, or can’t follow the plotline of their favorite show, it can be quite upsetting and brings forth a lot of questions.
If you think you are experiencing hearing loss, you are not alone. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, approximately 15% of all American adults experience some amount of hearing loss.
About Hearing Loss
There are four main types of hearing loss that one can experience, as detailed by the CDC here. The degree of hearing loss can vary greatly, from mild–where one can hear most sounds but soft sounds may be difficult to understand–to profound, where one cannot hear any speech and only very loud sounds.
People experiencing hearing loss will visit their doctor, typically an otolaryngologist, and are often prescribed a hearing aid. Unfortunately for the over 432 million people in the world who experience hearing loss, a large percentage of them feel they are unable to get help.
Concerns Around Hearing Loss
One of the biggest concerns when someone experiences hearing loss is cost, as on average a typical hearing aid costs around $2,400, and most people need two which brings the cost up to nearly $5,000. Since Medicare doesn’t cover the cost of hearing aids, many people think hearing aids are something they simply cannot afford. Medicare themselves state in their consumer guide that they do not cover hearing aids because of the overall expense this service coverage costs, which will then increase the cost of coverage for all Medicare patients.
The good news is that many insurance plans do cover at least some of the cost of a hearing aid. A popular nationwide group, UnitedHealthcare, happens to be one of them. UnitedHealthcare currently serves residents of all 50 states in the US and over 130 other countries, providing all types of coverage from self-employed plans to business plans and Medicare supplement plans.
Medicare Advantage (Part C) Plans
AARP MedicareComplete Plan 1 (HMO)
This plan only requires a $20 copay for hearing exams, a $380 copay for inner-ear hearing aids, and a $330 copay for outer ear hearing aids. With this plan, patients may see their preferred doctor and have a $0 monthly premium.
AARP MedicareComplete Plan 3 (HMO)
This plan is very similar to plan 1, the main difference being that the hearing exam copay is only $5, but the monthly premium is $36. The copay for both types of hearing aids is the same.
AARP MedicareComplete Plan 4 (HMO)
This plan again is very similar to the first two, but this one has a $0 copay for hearing exams and an $81 monthly premium. The copay for both types of hearing aids is the same.
Let us help you get the hearing aid you need!
Trying to determine how to afford a hearing aid may seem overwhelming, so let us help you! At Acadian Hearing Services, we can help you determine whether your coverage includes only hearing tests, premium technology, or complete hearing care. The first step is to fill in our quick online insurance coverage check form so that we can contact BCBS Insurance on your behalf and take the stress out of the process.
Contact us to learn more about the range of hearing care services.
Dr. Heidi J. Sorrells obtained her doctorate degree from Salus University in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania and master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Minot State University in Minot, North Dakota. She is a certified Audiologist by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and she holds a Louisiana and a Texas Audiology License. Dr. Sorrells enjoys all aspects of working in a private practice audiology clinic but especially loves the challenges of vestibular (balance) assessment and rehabilitation.