“I need hearing aids, but I also need help paying for them. I thought Medicare would help with the cost, but I’ve been told that I should look for coverage through a Medicare Advantage plan. What’s the real story? I’m confused!”
Dr. Tedeschi’s Answer:
First of all, it’s true that Original Medicare and most Medicare supplement (Medigap) insurance plans do not cover hearing aids or exams for fitting hearing aids. And, yes, some Medicare Advantage (Medicare part C) plans offer a hearing benefit. But, wait! It’s not quite as simple as signing up with the first Medicare Advantage plan that comes your way. Here are five tips for choosing a plan with a hearing benefit — and the right kind of coverage.
TIP #1: Make sure the Medicare Advantage plan contains a hearing benefit.
A growing number of Medicare Advantage plans cover hearing aids and professional hearing services. There are various ways to find out which plans contain a hearing benefit: by asking a health insurance broker who specializes in Medicare Advantage plans; by comparing plans on your state’s online health insurance marketplace (where available); or by reviewing individual insurers’ websites to find the features of each plan.
The best option, in my opinion, is to use the online hearing benefit checker tool offered by Amplifon Hearing Health Care. After entering a few details about yourself and your health plan, you’ll get a call back from an Amplifon Patient Care Advocate, who will let you know whether you currently have a hearing benefit and what it covers. This service is offered free of charge with no obligation.
TIP #2: Dig into the Medicare Advantage plan’s hearing benefit details.
All hearing benefits are definitely NOT created equally, so you need to choose carefully. Get answers to these questions:
- How many hearing aid brands and models are available to you through the benefit? Will you receive hearing aids that are a precise match to your needs?
- How much money will you actually save? Some plans specify an allowed amount that you may apply to the purchase of hearing aids, leaving you with thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses.
- What’s included in the purchase of your hearing aids? You need batteries or a charging station, a warranty and aftercare services, but some programs treat these and other essentials as “extras” that add significantly to the total cost of hearing aid ownership.
- What is the extent and duration of the aftercare you’ll receive, recognizing that professional services and adjustments are critical to your success with hearing aids?
The good news is, with the right Medicare Advantage plan, you can save thousands of dollars on the purchase of high-quality hearing aids, as well as substantial savings on accessories and professional services.
TIP #3: Choose a benefit you can use close to home.
Even the most robust hearing benefit won’t do you much good if you can’t find a participating hearing care professional close to where you live. Before you commit to a plan, find out how many providers are in the plan’s network and which ones are located near you.
TIP #4: Take action during the enrollment period.
There are two opportunities to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan: Oct. 15 through Dec. 7th to switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan; and Jan. 1 through March 31 to switch from Medicare Advantage plan to another. If you don’t take action during these timeframes, you’ll have to remain with your current coverage until the next open enrollment period. (Other enrollment periods may apply under certain circumstances.)1
TIP #5: Look for a Medicare Advantage plan that partners with Amplifon.
Excellent coverage and high member satisfaction are the two biggest reasons I whole-heartedly recommend choosing a plan with an Amplifon hearing benefit. Other reasons include:
- Average savings of 64% off hearing aid manufacturer’s suggested retail price
- The largest nationwide network of credentialed audiologists and hearing aid dispensers, with locations near 92% of all U.S. neighborhoods
- Access to a wide choice of hearing aid models from leading brands
- Two years of free batteries or a charging station, 60-day risk-free trial, three-year warranty for loss, damage or repair and one year of aftercare, all at no additional charge2
Last, and most importantly, the hearing health care professionals in our network are truly dedicated to the satisfaction of their patients, as evidenced by the 96% of members who would recommend their provider.3
Get in touch with Amplifon today
At Amplifon we invite you to contact us one of two easy ways:
- Click here to find out whether your current Medicare Advantage plan contains a hearing benefit. There’s no charge or obligation to use this service.
- If you currently have an Amplifon benefit, click here to request an appointment with a hearing care provider in our network.
2Batteries: two-year supply of batteries (80 cells/ear/year) or one standard charger at no additional cost. Warranty: Exclusions and limitations may apply. Contact Client Services (1-844-267-5436) for details.
3Amplifon Hearing Health Care CG-CAHPS Survey, April-September 2020