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Hearing Test: What does Medicare cover?

It can sometimes seem confusing trying to figure out what Medicare covers when it comes to taking care of your hearing. Does Medicare cover a diagnostic hearing test exam, or are you on your own?

Hearing test

In order to properly assess the sensitivity of your hearing and your full range of speech, your doctor will need to perform a hearing test. The test will start with the quietest sound and move on to the loudest. A hearing test is also referred to as an audiogram and is conducted by an audiologist.

The audiologist will first take a look in your ears to ensure there are no blockages or other reasons for the hearing test to not take place.

They will ask you questions about your history and when you began noticing any problems with your hearing. Next, the audiologist will perform the test and it will take about 30 minutes. The test is done one ear at a time to check for individual issues.

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Medicare coverage

Medicare will cover the costs of a diagnostic hearing and balance exam if your doctor deems it as medically necessary. However, Medicare does not cover the costs of your routine hearing exams, hearing aids, or hearing aid fittings.

Hearing and balance tests are often used to diagnose medical conditions. Medicare Part B will cover the costs for beneficiaries that are prescribed a diagnostic hearing exam by a doctor who accepts Medicare assignment.

If Medicare approves coverage for your diagnostic hearing and balance exam, you will only be responsible for 20 percent of the Medicare-approved amount as well as the Part B deductible ($185 in 2019). Medicare will pay the other 80 percent of your exam fees.

To avoid any surprise charges, talk to your doctor about your coverage before making an appointment for a hearing and balance exam.

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