Hearing aid prices are high, and the price tag can leave many Medicare beneficiaries at a loss. Medicare Part B only covers diagnostic hearing and balance exams, not hearing aids. If you’re one of 35 million Americans living with hearing loss, this can leave you feeling helpless as hearing aids prices are too high for many people. In fact, hearing aid prices range from $2,000 to $7,000, which can be a huge financial burden for retirees living on a limited income.
The Medicare Hearing Aid Coverage Act of 2017, which mandates that Medicare covers hearing aids, has been sitting at the feet of Congress for years, but little headway is being made to make this bill a law.
Overall impact of hearing loss
Hearing loss affects far more than just your ability to hear. It can also create social isolation which can lead to poor health. Studies show that social isolation can increase risk of death by at least 50%, a number nearly as high as the risk posed by smoking.
It can also lead to more hospitalizations, which puts a strain on Medicare and Medicare beneficiaries alike. People who use hearing aids are more likely to see their primary care doctor for nonemergency appointments. They’re also able to communicate their health needs more effectively and receive the medical care they need in an outpatient setting.
If hearing aid prices at the doctor’s office are too high for you, here are some cheaper alternatives.
- Medicare Advantage. Many Medicare Advantage plans offer benefits Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) does not, like hearing, dental, and vision. If you experience permanent hearing loss, it might be beneficial to switch from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage.
- Costco offers quality hearing aids with free product demonstration, hearing tests, and follow-up appointments. You will need a Costco membership to use these benefits.
- Amazon offers hearings aids and personal sound amplifiers. If you have an Amazon Prime membership, you could have new hearing aids in as little as two days.
- Walmart offers low-cost hearing aids, batteries, and sound amplifiers. Even better, you probably have a store nearby.