Medicaid is super important for providing free access to lots of different services and treatments that are vital for our health and wellbeing.
Unfortunately, Medicaid only covers the costs of a limited range of services, treatments and items, which means that sometimes you may have to end up paying for certain treatments that you need as part of your healthcare.
This can sometimes lead to confusion about what Medicaid covers and what it doesn’t – and that is where we step in.
Here we are going to talk about Medicaid and if it covers hearing aids.
That way, you know if you have to end up paying for your own hearing aids or if the cost can be completely covered by Medicaid.
So, let’s jump right in!
Table of contents
Are Hearing Aids Covered By Medicaid?
Most adults and all children are covered by medicaid when it comes to hearing services and hearing aids, but there are some differences when it comes to coverage between each state.
This means that how much Medicare is willing to cover the cost of your hearing aids and other hearing services all depends on where you live.
Firstly, it’s important to note that all people under the age of 21 and are enrolled in Medicaid services will have all their hearing services costs covered.
This is true all across the United States because everyone under the age of 21 and enrolled in Medicaid are covered by the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment Program.
This program means that all children and adolescents who are eligible for Medicaid services also do not have to pay for vision and hearing screenings.
So, those enrolled in Medicaid and are under the age of 21 are eligible for free hearing tests, hearing aid evaluations, and hearing devices – including hearing aids, replacement batteries and even cochlear implants as long as they are medically necessary.
So, yes, kids and teenagers are covered by Medicaid for their hearing aids up until they turn 21 years of age.
After that, it gets a little tricky.
For adults in need of hearing aids, some of you are able to access free hearing aids as long as you meet a certain criteria but on the other hand, some of you will live in states that offer no free hearing services to any adults.
States That Offer No Free Hearing Services
There are twenty two states in total that offer no free hearing services to adults and thus, they will not cover the cost of hearing aids. These states are:
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
If you live in any of the above states, then sorry – you will have to cover the costs of your hearing aids by some other means.
Your health insurance may cover it or perhaps there is a charitable non profit organization in your community that offers discounted prices for hearing aids or help cover the costs.
Medicaid Coverage For Hearing Aids In Other States
Here we are going to discuss the kinds of criteria and situations you may need to meet before you can have access to free hearing aids in other states.
A lot of states require the individual to undergo hearing evaluations first, such as with Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, and New Mexico.
These states just need a medical professional’s opinion to prove that you actually do have hearing difficulties.
Some states take it a step further and require your hearing aids to actually be prescribed by a licensed medical or hearing professional, like with Alaska, California, South Dakota, and Texas.
Meanwhile some states will offer free hearing aids completely, like with Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oregon, and Rhode Island. Here, all Medicare eligible patients are covered for hearing aids.
However, this may not apply to accessories, replacements, and batteries so double check with your state just how often and how much the Medicaid will offer to pay.
Also, some states like Michigan only offer free hearing aids to Medicaid beneficiaries who had prior authorization before June 30th 2009.
On the other hand, some states rate each person on a needs-based criteria and decide case by case if the person is entitled to free hearing aids.
This means they will look at how hard of hearing you are and also take into consideration your situation including if you are pregnant or live in a nursing home.
This is the case for states including Iowa, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, and Vermont.
And finally, some states like Hawaii and Wisconsin offer separate Medicaid programs that offer free hearing aids to those who are eligible.
So, you are better off checking with your hearing aid specialist for what programs you can go to for free hearing aids.
So, does Medicaid cover hearing aids?
The answer is…it’s complicated.
If you are a Medicaid beneficiary under the age of 21 then good news, you are covered and are entitled to free hearing aids no matter what state you live in!
This is because you are protected by a certain program – so get out there and get your hearing aids!
If you are over the age of 21, then you will have to double check your state’s Medicaid laws when it comes to hearing aids.
This is because some states will cover the cost no problem, others will only cover a portion of the cost, and some will not cover the cost for adult hearing aids no matter the situation.
In some states, there are criterias in place that you must meet first before the Medicaid in your state agrees to cover the cost of your hearing aids.
This includes how hard of hearing you are, how long you have lived in the state, when you first applied for Medicaid, if you have been prescribed them by a healthcare professional or a hearing specialist, etc.
There’s a lot of hoops you will have to jump through but hang in there and hopefully, you will get your hearing aids free of charge in no time! Good luck!
Frequently Asked Questions
Hearing aids are available on the NHS. Your GP can refer you to an NHS hearing aid provider if they think you might need a hearing aid.
From local hearing aid banks to nonprofit organizations like the Easter Seals, AUDIENT, HIKE Fund, Inc. and Help America Hear program, a variety of national and state resources can help get hearing aids into your hands.
Moderate Hearing Loss
At this level, sounds of 41 to 65 dB may be missed. This range contains the bulk of conversational speech, along with TV, music, and many other vital sounds, and nearly everyone in this category will benefit from hearing aids.