Insurance and Hearing Aids
The cost of medical equipment and treatment can pose a problem for many Americans, but living with hearing loss isn’t an easy thing to do. While many insurance companies provide some level of cover for hearing-related treatment and disorders, you’ll need to check your policy documents to determine what level of coverage you have and what tests, treatments and equipment are included.
Alternatively, there are a variety of other funding options available. If you don’t have insurance or if your insurance policy doesn’t cover the cost of hearings tests or hearing aids, you may be eligible to obtain alternative funding via your employer. In addition to this, there are numerous budget-friendly hearing aid options, which can be ideal for patients who don’t have medical insurance or existing cover.
Check your insurance policy
If you do have medical insurance, the first thing you need to do is check your policy. Every insurer is different, and most providers have a range of coverage options, so your specific policy could be unique. Read the documents closely to determine whether audiological testing, diagnostic testing or hearing evaluations are covered by the policy.
Remember – hearings aids and on-going maintenance or treatment may not be covered, even if diagnostic or audiological testing is. Insurers tend to separate testing, treatment and maintenance, so you’ll need to check your policy documents to determine whether any of your hearing-related medical costs are covered.
Furthermore, you’ll need to know if your insurer stipulates that certain conditions must be met before they will subsidize your medical costs. You will, of course, need to consult an audiologist who accepts your particular insurance provider, but you will need to find out whether your insurer requires you to be referred by a primary physician, for example, or whether you can self-refer directly to an audiologist.
Health savings accounts
Many employers offer health savings accounts or flexible spending accounts, so you may be able to use one of these to fund your medical costs. Every month, a specific amount of money is taken from your earnings before tax is taken. This money is set aside, in a separate account, for future medical costs or other specified expenses.
If you have a health savings account or a flexible spending account, you may be able to rely on these untaxed savings to cover the cost of hearing aids, diagnostics tests or any other treatment you require.
It’s worth checking your pay slip to find out whether you have one of these accounts set up, or if you pay into an employer-sponsored insurance fund. People often set up these accounts and forget they have them, so it’s a source of funding which can easily be overlooked.
Personal savings and loans
If you don’t have alternative funding options in place, you may need to rely on your savings to fund the cost of treatment and hearing aids. Alternatively, many patients obtain personal loans and or specialist medical loans so that they can access treatment. If you’re considering these options, it’s important to ensure you’re able to repay any loans you take out and that there is a realistic repayment schedule in place.
Hearing aid insurance
Even if you don’t have insurance in place when you’re diagnosed with hearing loss or a hearing-related disorder, you may be able to obtain hearing aid insurance. Once you’ve been prescribed hearing aids, it is possible to obtain coverage for the cost of any repairs or maintenance which may be needed.
Often, these policies are affordable and can be a good way of safeguarding against breakages or losses. Of course, it’s vital you check any policies before you take them out, as not all of them will cover the same thing.
Getting help from your audiologist
Your audiologist will take your financial concerns into account when discussing diagnostic and treatment options with you. Even if you choose an experienced audiologist who accepts Medicare and alternative insurance providers, do check that they accept payments from your chosen provider before you agree to any treatment or tests being carried out.
Working with an audiologist who offers budget-friendly options, a range of funding facilities and a comprehensive aftercare plan can also help to minimize your costs. A try before you buy program is a great way to test drive your hearing aids, as you can ensure they’re right for you before you begin making any payments.
To learn more about hearing aid funding and audiologic testing, contact us at Affordable Audiology & Hearing Service at 920-232-4752.