Some states require a hearing aid for anyone who has a hearing loss of more than 25 dB in the better ear. In some cases, this requirement also applies to people with milder hearing loss if it affects their ability to carry out everyday activities.
Hearing aids cost an average of $2,500 per device. This is a large financial burden for many people. While many health insurance policies do not cover hearing aids, many states are requiring insurance to provide coverage for people who require hearing aids.
Every state has its standards set concerning the hearing aid funding it provides. The coverages provided seem specific, and it requires research to decipher availability and eligibility requirements. One common requirement includes the mandate to have some sort of employee or group insurance plan.
Missouri only requires coverage for newborns. Their screening, audiological assessment, and hearing aids are included in these coverage requirements.
New Jersey’s coverage lasts until a child reaches fifteen years old. They will receive $1,000 per hearing aid every two years.
Many states who require hearing aid coverage do so until a child reaches age 18. Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, and Wyoming are all the states that will make sure that children’s hearing aids are covered, though the amount of that coverage varies state to state. Massachusetts extends this to 21 and North Carolina limits coverage to those 22 years old and younger.
The final group of states mandates that insurance covers hearing aids, but there are no age limits on this coverage. In Alabama, Alaska, California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, North Dakota, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wisconsin, hearing aids are required to be covered for all ages. It is important to remember that the amount of coverage will vary by state.
Some states, like Alaska and North Dakota, require prior authorization for hearing aids to be covered by insurance. California and Ohio limit coverage to those with only certain levels of hearing loss. The severity of your hearing loss also plays a part in how much assistance you receive.
Typically, people receiving hearing aids may get reimbursement for a certain percentage of the cost after purchasing the hearing aids. Otherwise, the insurance provider pays the full or partial payment for the purchase of hearing aids. There are a variety of options for paying for hearing aids.
The first is private health insurance, which will cover a percentage or the full cost of the hearing aids, depending on your policy.
The second type of coverage is Medicaid, which covers the entire cost of hearing aids for those who qualify. Some of these programs may combine with supplemental coverage options to pay the balance owed when purchasing your new supply of hearing aids.
There are several companies that offer insurance plans specifically for hearing aids. These plans can vary in price, but they typically offer coverage for repairs and replacements, as well as loss or damage protection.
Additionally, there are some programs that offer discounted rates on hearing aids to those who meet certain income requirements.
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) offers grants and loans for individuals who need assistance purchasing hearing aids.
Coverage Age Limit
|Alabama||Covered||$1,400 per aid, every 3 years. Does not mandate coverage of the cost of hearing aids but rather requires insurance companies to offer coverage to employers in the state. However, if the employer chooses to add this option, the health plan must provide hearing aid coverage of no less than $1,400 per ear every three years for individuals of all ages.|
|Alaska||Covered||Requires prior authorization|
|California||Covered||Hearing loss must exceed specified decibel criteria, $1,510 annual limit for aids and supplies applicable to nonpregnant and noninstitutionalized adults, can be exceeded for authorization.|
|Colorado||Covered||18||1 hearing aid per ear every 5 years, no limit on cost but deductibles and co-pays may apply|
|Connecticut||Covered||$1,000 total, every 24 months. The state Insurance Department issued a bulletin requiring insurance policies to remove age limits (statute applies to children 12 years of age and under) on hearing aid benefits for policies issued on or after January 1, 2016.|
|Delaware||Covered||18||$1,000 per aid, 1 hearing aid per ear every 36 months|
|Florida||Covered||Bone Anchored Hearing Aids. For recipients who have documented profound, severe hearing loss in one or both ears as follows: Implanted device for recipients age five years and older; Non Implantation (softband) device for recipients under the age of five years Cochlear Implants; For recipients age 12 months and older who have documented profound to severe, bilateral sensorineural hearing loss. Hearing Aids For recipients who have moderate hearing loss or greater, including the following services: One new, complete, (not refurbished) hearing aid device per ear, every three years, per recipient; Up to three pairs of ear molds per year, per recipient; One fitting and dispensing service per ear, every three years, per recipient. For recipients age 12 months and older who have documented profound to severe, bilateral sensorineural hearing loss.|
|Georgia||Covered||18||Coverage up to $3000 per ear every 48 months.|
|Illinois||Covered||18||House Bill 3503 requires “coverage for hearing instruments and related services for all individuals 65 years of age and older when a hearing care professional prescribes a hearing instrument.”|
|Indiana||Covered||1 hearing aid/ 5 years|
|Kansas||Covered||Limited to 6 batteries for monaural/12 for binaural aids; boneanchored hearing aid limited to one every 4 years; One dispensing fee allowed for monaural or binaural services|
|Kentucky||Covered||18||$1,400 per aid, every 36 months|
|Louisiana||Covered||18||$1,400 per aid, every 36 months|
|Maine||Covered||18||$1,400 per aid, every 36 months. Children 5 and under took effect Jan. 1, 2008, children 6-13 took effect Jan. 1, 2009, children 14-18 took effect Jan. 1, 2010|
|Maryland||Covered||18||$1,400 per aid, every 36 months|
|Massachusetts||Covered||21||up to $2,000 per hearing aid every 36 months.|
|Minnesota||Covered||18||1 hearing aid per ear, every 36 months, no limit on cost and no additional deductible or similar restriction|
|Missouri||Covered||Coverage limited to newborns only. Coverage amount varies per need of newborn. Newborns covered for screening, audiological assessment and hearing aid purchases|
|Nebraska||Covered||18||up to $3000 for all covered services every 48 months.|
|New Hampshire||Covered||No age restrictions. $1,500 per hearing aid, per ear, once every 60 months|
|New Jersey||Covered||15||Children 15 and under are covered. Coverage for $1,000 per aid, once every 2 years|
|New Mexico||Covered||18||Maximum age rises to 21 for those still enrolled in high school. $2,200 per ear, once every 36 months|
|North Carolina||Covered||22||$2,500 per hearing aid, per ear, once every 36 months|
|North Dakota||Covered||$3 per hearing aid $2 per visit. Prior approval required for services based on policy requirements.|
|Ohio||Covered||Multiple frequency limits are used|
|Oklahoma||Covered||18||None for hearing aid cost, once every 48 months|
|Oregon||Covered||18||$4,000 per aid, once every 48 months|
|Rhode Island||Covered||Increased in 2006 from $400 to $2,000, per hearing aid for those under 19. For all others, increased from $400 to $800, per hearing aid once every three years for both groups|
|South Dakota||Covered||1 hearing aid/3 years if original no longer serviceable.|
|Tennessee||Covered||18||$1000 per hearing aid per ear every 3 years|
|Texas||Covered||18||One hearing aid in each ear every 3 years and one cochlear implant in each ear with internal replacement as medically necessary.|
|Vermont||Covered||1 hearing aid per ear every 3 years and only for specified degrees of hearing loss; repairs limited to 1 per aid per year; prior authorization required for more frequent requests|
|West Virginia||Not Covered|
|Wisconsin||Covered||None, covers the cost of one hearing aid per ear (once every 3 years), cochlear implants, and related therapy|
|Wyoming||Covered||18||Age limit applies to hearing aids and cochlear implants. One hearing aid/5 years|