State Hearing Aid Insurance Requirements
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.
Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, and Vermont all have a requirement that health plans available in their states pay for children’s hearing aids. Wisconsin requires this as well with an additional requirement that cochlear implants for children are also covered.
Of the states that mandate hearing aid coverage for all ages, each has its own amount that is covered. In Arkansas, it is mandated that insurance provides $1,400 per aid every three years. New Hampshire offers $1,500 per aid every five years. Rhode Island requires coverage of $80 per aid on a three-year cycle. Connecticut’s requirement is $1,000 every two years. Illinois offers the best coverage mandate of $2,500 per aid every two years.
Availability and Eligibility Requirements
The availability of financial assistance varies according to your age and your income level. For example, Rhode Island may offer up to $900 per ear for those aged 65+, while West Virginia only provides aid for those earning below a certain income threshold. The severity of your hearing loss also plays a part in how much assistance you receive.
Types of Hearing Aid Coverage
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.
Grants and Loans
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) offers grants and loans for individuals who need assistance purchasing hearing aids.