Hearing Aid Insurance - Initial Cost and Replacement
Although hearing aids have been readily available in the United States for several decades, there are many hearing loss sufferers that don't avail themselves of these devices because they are cost prohibitive. A typical hearing aid nowadays can run several thousand dollars, in addition to the initial hearing tests and the costs involved in fitting and testing. Finally, add to that the cost of replacement batteries and future adjustments and your hearing aids could be very expensive.
In order to deal with the problem we now have what's called hearing aid insurance. Hearing aid insurance comes in one of two forms: initial cost and replacement. Initial cost insurance would be that which pays for you to get tested and purchase your first hearing aid. Replacement insurance would be similar to your homeowners or car insurance in that it replaces damaged or lost hearing aids. The latter form of insurance is much easier to get than the former.
Initial Cost of Purchasing Hearing Aids
The initial, upfront cost of procuring hearing aids is what prevents many people from using them. That's because most private health insurance plans will not cover this initial cost unless extenuating circumstances require it. Some high-end health insurance policies will have an exception to this rule, but for the most part don't expect your standard health insurance to cover the cost.
If you are a Medicare or Medicaid recipient your health insurance may cover the full cost of procuring your hearing aids under certain circumstances. More often than not, however, it will only cover the initial doctor's visit and the audiological exams. You'll probably have to pay for the actual devices out-of-pocket.
Because most insurance companies will not cover the cost of hearing aids some states are now getting involved to press the issue. Although the laws are by no means universal at this time, there are states where insurance companies are required to pay for hearing aids for infants and small children. Other states are working on hearing aid coverage for certain diseases and genetic malfunctions. Still others are trying to incorporate legislation that would require insurance companies to cover all uses of hearing aids, regardless of who needs them and why. The only way to know for sure what's covered in your case is to call your insurance company and ask them.
While replacement insurance for hearing aids seems rather odd, it is quite understandable when you consider how much these devices cost and how fragile they are. There are now companies all across the United States that offer specific policies just for hearing aids and their accessories. Like car insurance you can choose between several types of coverage depending on the value of your hearing aids and how much replacement cost you want included.
Basic insurance policies simply cover minor accidents and malfunctions. This is obviously the least expensive type. The best replacement insurance policies will pay for new hearing aids regardless of the reason the old ones need to be replaced. Be it malfunction, theft, damage, or whatever else, a full replacement policy will cover the entire cost. This is obviously the most expensive type of hearing aid insurance.
Insurance Is Your Choice
When it comes to the initial cost of procuring hearing aids, there's not much you can do about it. Either your insurance company will cover it or they won't. But when it comes to replacement insurance, you do have the choice. In order to make that choice you need to assess your financial resources in relation to the replacement cost of your hearing aids. It may be that you have sufficient resources to cover them in case they are damaged or stolen, so paying for insurance is not worth it. But if your resources are limited, and you can't bear to live without your hearing aids, you should probably purchase an insurance policy.
The only other thing you need to know about replacement insurance is that the cost will vary depending on the make and model of your hearing aid. Since there are so many levels of hearing aids, and so many different technologies involved, they all have different replacement costs. Fortunately, there are a number of online sites that will give you an instant quote when you simply enter the make and model of your hearing aid.