Does Insurance Cover My Child's Hearing Aids?
Does Insurance Cover My Child’s Hearing Aids?
As a parent, when you found out your child needed hearing aids you probably experienced a lot of emotions. In one sense, you were relieved to know that with the right hearing aids, your kid’s hearing would improve, and speech and language would follow. You envisioned a better quality of life for your little one.
On the other hand, you felt a little anxious about the high cost of those hearing aids.
The bad news – hearing aids can be expensive.
It’s true, hearing aids can be costly, ranging from $1,000-$4,000 per ear. The variation in price relates to the technology and other factors in them. Different types of hearings aids address specific hearing loss conditions. Your audiologist can explain the hearing aid options best suited for your child.
When you do buy hearing aids, it’s a good idea to invest in a manufacturer’s warranty for loss and/or damage. Other associated expenses include follow-up adjustments, routine cleanings, the earmold and batteries. The earmold (the part that goes inside the ear) of the hearing aid needs to be replaced frequently because the ear grows as your child does. Batteries typically last about one week, but that can vary by the type of hearing aid and how long the hearing aid is used each day.
Will insurance cover hearing aids?
It depends on your insurance company and policy plan. When private insurance does pay, it usually covers the cost of exams. However, 22 states require insurance companies to cover all or part of hearing aid costs for children. In most cases, the best thing to do is call your insurance company to fully understand what your insurance does and does not cover. Your audiologist’s office may have someone on staff who can help you get information and understand your insurance benefits as well. Be sure to ask your insurer:
· Does my health plan cover hearing aids for my child?
· If so, does it pay a specified amount or cover the entire hearing aid purchase? How often will it cover replacement hearing aids? Will it cover new earmolds?
· Does my child need to meet a certain degree of hearing loss to qualify for hearing aid coverage?
· Do I have to buy the hearing aids from specific providers? If so, can you provide a list of those?
· Do you only cover specific hearing aids and/or manufacturers? What if my audiologist recommends a hearing aid you don’t cover?
· Do providers bill you directly or do I pay them and then submit paperwork to you for reimbursement?
The good news – help is available!
While the cost of hearing aids may seem overwhelming, don’t be discouraged. Many organizations provide pediatric hearing aid devices and audiology services at a dramatically reduced rate to those who are uninsured, underinsured or otherwise qualify for financial assistance.