It can be quite confusing figuring out whether your insurance carries a hearing aid benefit. What we do know is MEDICARE does not pay for hearing aids and MEDICAID does. However, many secondary insurances have a hearing aid benefit if you’re willing to spend hours of your time on the phone speaking with a live representative to give you that information.
To save you time, this is what I know: First, a large majority of CIGNA plans have a hearing aid benefit. This benefit is administered by a 3rd party administrator called Amplifon. You are required to register through Amplifon’s portal such that the Audiologists staff can assess your benefits information and print it out. Second, many of the AETNA plans have a hearing aid benefit either through a 3rd party such as Amplifon or a flat monetary benefit that is paid to the Audiologist.
This benefit can range from $500 to $750 in most cases. Third, those of you that have Federal BC/BS typically have a $1250 hearing aid benefit per ear. In addition, those Federal employees can also choose to go through a 3rd party administrator such as TruHearing. Fourth, many of the Ford and/or General Motors retirees have a hearing aid benefit administered through 3rd parties such as American Hearing Benefits (AHB) or AudioNet. Other 3d party administrators include HEAR USA, EPIC, and Your Hearing Network.
The best advice that I can give you is to provide your Audiologist with your insurance information so that they can verify your benefits. In the vast majority of these plans, you will save a significant amount of money taking advantage of your 3rd party benefit.
The pitfalls of these plans include the following:
- Most of these plans do not offer long 0% interest plans
- The Audiologist is limited to specific manufacturers for the hearing aid selected. In many cases, this may not be the best hearing instrument for the patient’s lifestyle and listening needs
- The Audiologist can charge for their time after the first year of services
Dr. Izzy is always available to answer your questions about most hearing care issues. Dr. Izzy and his Staff have offices in Toms River, Whiting, and Manahawkin and can be reached at 732-818-3610 (Toms River/Whiting) or 609-978-8946 (Manahawkin) or visit: www.gardenstatehearing.com.