Saturday, December 7, 2019
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Why Doesn’t Insurance Cover Hearing Aids?

If you ever find yourself suffering from hearing loss and an audiologist suggests hearing aids will solve your problem, your budget may be in trouble.

My best friend recently learned he needed hearing aids.

For nearly 30 years now, he has directed television shows and worn a headset over one ear. He’s also big into music, particularly drum corps shows. Both scenarios can involve loud sounds.

Apparently, they’ve taken their toll.

But when he found out what hearing aids cost and what insurance pays, that information took a toll on his budget!

Insurance can be a funny thing.

Every six months, I go to the eye doctor. Every two years, my health and vision insurance covers the cost of new glasses if I need them. So far, I haven’t needed new glasses at a frequency of more than every two years.

That’s a good thing, because my current glasses have a coating that counteracts a lot of the blue light from computer screens. With insurance, my glasses end up costing me between $200 and $300. That’s the cost of frames and lenses.

Without insurance, those same glasses would cost more than $700. I balked at that amount when my eye doctor told me that.

“How could anyone afford glasses without insurance?” I asked.

When my friend got the hearing aids recommended by his audiologist, he was told they would cost upwards of $5,000.

Yes…five thousand dollars!!

That’s the price without insurance.

With insurance, the price was still about $5,000.

Most insurance doesn’t cover hearing aids.

People who can’t hear often can’t work. Depending on the severity of the hearing loss, they may not be able to function in society.

Insurance will often cover the cost of glasses, dental work and even some prosthetic devices. But devices that help people hear well aren’t usually found on coverage lists.

It makes no sense to me.

According to a website called HealthyHearing.com, some insurance companies consider hearing aids as “elective.” Why aren’t eyeglasses considered elective as well? If there are people who can live their life blind, why does anyone need perfect vision?

Isn’t that the same logic?

To make matters worse, those fancy devices that help us hear better have a relatively short life span. They need to be replaced after between three to six years, depending on whether they’re worn behind the ear or inside the ear.

If they cost that much and that expenditure rolls around that often, that’s a horrible reality for someone who’s dealing with hearing loss to face.

I can understand insurance companies not wanting to take on that kind of expense. But maybe if insurance companies would do a better job of covering the devices, their makers might try to be more competitive in their pricing.

No one should have to choose between their wallet and their hearing.

1 Comment

  1. Health insurance is not health assurance – except the financial health of the insurance companies. Now that I’m on Medicare, I am even more baffled about the things for which I am not covered. For instance, Shingles, which is a real threat to older people, is covered by Medicare only after one has contracted it; the $400 vaccine is not. All I can say is that we should beware of politicians touting “Medicare for all.” Could you hear that? 🙂

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 28 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.