When seeking treatment for hearing loss, it’s important to understand the coverage your health insurance provides. Many insurance plans don’t cover the cost of hearing aids, which can range in price from $1,800-$6,500 per pair; others cover only a small amount. Additionally, some insurance plans dictate where you can purchase your hearing aids and only cover a limited number of follow up visits.
While the Florida Gulf Coast Hearing Center doesn’t accept insurance, we offer concierge-level service without the limitations that insurance benefits can impose. Additionally, we will work with you to make your treatment plan affordable. To help facilitate the process, we offer the following tips for navigating your insurance coverage.
Understand Your Insurance Coverage
Different plans may have varying benefits and exclusions, so it is crucial to read your policy documents carefully. Contact your insurance provider to obtain the necessary information about your plan. Check the back of your insurance card for the customer service phone number.
Ask these questions when you call your insurance company:
- What is the health plan benefit for hearing exams?
- What is the health plan benefit for hearing aids?
- Do I need a referral from my primary care physician?
- Do I need prior approval?
- Do I have to use specific providers? If so, may I have a list of providers in my area?
- If the health plan has an allowance or benefit, do I have to pay the provider the full amount and then submit paperwork to get reimbursed?
- Is the benefit limited to specific hearing aid models or technology? Ask your plan representative to specifically define terms such as “routine” hearing aids.
- Are there any criteria or stipulations for coverage? Some health plans may require that your hearing loss must be a certain degree in order to receive their benefit.
- What is my out-of-pocket cost limit, and what costs contribute to reaching this limit?
- Do I need to meet my deductible before I can utilize these benefits? If so, how much of my deductible have I met?
- What type of service can I expect? How many follow-up visits am I permitted?
Consider Assistance Programs and Financing Options
If your insurance plan does not provide coverage for hearing tests or hearing aids, there may be alternative financing options available. Florida Gulf Coast Hearing Center may offer discounts, financing plans, payment options, and leasing programs that can help make hearing aids more affordable. Additionally, there may be government programs or non-profit organizations that can assist with the cost of hearing tests or hearing aids.
Be sure to check with these types of organizations if you are a member to see if you are eligible for a benefit that can help make hearing care more accessible and affordable:
- The Department of Veterans Affairs – If you are a veteran or have a service connection, check with your local VA to see whether you qualify for benefits and hearing-related services, including the provision of hearing aids. prosthetics.va.gov/psas/hearing_aids
- Medicare and Medicaid — If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, you may have some options depending on the type of hearing loss.
- Workers’ compensation — If your hearing is damaged on the job, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation to help cover the cost of hearing aids and other treatments. healthyhearing.com/report/53178-Workers-comp-hearing-loss-tinnitus
- Social security benefits for hearing loss — If your hearing loss is affecting your ability to work, you may be eligible for assistance through the Social Security trust fund. healthyhearing.com/report/52874-Social-security-disability-and-hearing-loss
- Federal employee discount programs — If you are a federal employee, the Federal Employee Health Plan covers medical problems with your ears, and some cover hearing aids, with the coverage varying among the plans. Discounts for some state employees are also available, and can be used with your insurance coverage. opm.gov/healthcare-insurance/healthcare/
- AARP — You may qualify for discounts on your hearing aid purchase through your association with various memberships, such as AARP. aarp.org
- Charitable and other assistance programs — There are many charitable groups that will provide new or used hearing aids at a discount, or even free, if you meet the financial criteria. View the financial assistance page from HLAA, the Hearing Loss Association of America for more information. hearingloss.org/hearing-help/financial-assistance
- Florida Vocational Rehabilitation Program – Florida’s Department of Education’s Vocational Rehabilitation program offers assistance to people who are in the workforce and need hearing aids for their jobs.
- Hearing aid financing — CareCredit is a patient finance program. CareCredit works like a credit card but is exclusive for healthcare services. Florida Gulf Coast Hearing Center accepts CareCredit for the purchase of hearing aids. carecredit.com/hearing
Understanding your insurance coverage for hearing tests and hearing aids is crucial to ensure that you receive the care you need without incurring unnecessary costs. Knowing your insurance plan, determining your coverage, and understanding your out-of-pocket costs can help you make informed decisions about your hearing health.
Florida Gulf Coast Hearing Center is committed to your health and delivering affordable care for all our patients. When you choose us for your hearing care and treatment, we will work with you to develop individual treatment and payment plans. Our goal is always to help you improve your hearing health and overall quality of life.
With Florida Gulf Coast Hearing Center as your care team, you can count on:
- Being cared for by a highly trained and qualified staff, as well as certified specialists
- Advanced fitting techniques and cutting-edge hearing aid technologies
- Access to technology and devices not available at most other hearing aid dispensaries
- A team that maintains the highest standards of ethics and integrity.