Will Medicaid Cover Hearing Aids? States That Cover Hearing Devices
This information is current as of March 23, 2022.
Struggling with hearing loss can make simple interactions confusing. If you or a loved one finds it challenging to hear day-to-day, you may wonder if Medicaid will cover hearing aids to help.
Twenty-three states have Medicaid policies that will cover all or a portion of the cost of hearing aids: CA, FL, IL, HI, IA, IN, MA, MN, MT, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NV, NY, OH, OR, RI, SD, TX, VT, WI, WY. Some states require certain levels of hearing problems, while others offer more open coverage. Additionally, all states will cover hearing aids for children under age 21 when deemed medically necessary.
This guide will break down what each state offers regarding Medicaid coverage for hearing aids.
When Do States Cover Hearing Aids through Medicaid?
Medicaid is a federal program, but specific coverage requirements are decided individually by the states. Out of the 23 states that offer hearing aid coverage for adults in their Medicaid program, only 11 offer full coverage for mild to extreme hearing loss.
Another six states cover hearing aids if the patient has moderate to severe hearing loss. Finally, an additional six states only cover hearing aids if the patient’s audiologist recommends them.
Unfortunately, the remaining 22 states not listed above do not offer hearing aid coverage for Medicaid patients.
On the other hand, all children are covered for hearing aids by Medicaid in all 50 states.
Hearing Aids for Children on Medicaid
All children younger than 21 have access to hearing services when enrolled in Medicaid. This is given through the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment Program.
This program encourages covered vision and hearing screenings from a young age. If the doctor detects something abnormal, they can request further testing and hearing aids.
Medicaid will cover all these costs so that the child can access vision and hearing services and treatment options.
Read more about the program’s scope of services and coverage for children with hearing difficulties.
What State Medicaid Will Cover Hearing Aids?
Will Medicaid cover hearing aids? States that cover hearing devices, providing full coverage for hearing aids for mild to extreme hearing loss, include California, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Nevada, New York, Ohio, South Dakota, Texas, and Vermont. However, while these states cover the cost of the primary hearing aid, not all of them will cover things like fittings, training, accessories, or batteries.
States that cover hearing devices that provide full coverage for hearing aids for with mild to extreme hearing loss include:
- New Hampshire
- New York
- South Dakota
While these states cover the cost of the primary hearing aid, not all of them will cover things like fittings, training, accessories, or batteries.
The Department of Health Care Services monitors California’s Medicaid. Adults under Medicaid in CA can receive hearing aids annually valued at $1,510. This value can cover the hearing aids, molds, supplies, inserts, repairs, initial batteries, rentals, and six visits with the vendor for training, adjustments, or fittings.
Vendors are not allowed to sell you hearing aids that exceed this value. However, many hearing aids will cost less than the $1,510 limit. Medicaid will entirely cover these.
Illinois’ Medicaid program is called HealthChoice Illinois. HealthChoice covers the cost of hearing aids when hearing loss is 20 decibels or greater at 500, 1000, 2000, 4000, or 8000 Hertz frequencies or 25 decibels or greater at 500, 100, or 2000 Hertz frequencies.
HealthChoice also covers the cost of the initial batteries. However, they will not cover fittings, follow-up visits, shipping fees, or any retail mark-up of the hearing aids.
Indiana Medicaid will cover medically necessary hearing tests and hearing aids, not canal hearing aids. Your doctor must document that you will receive a significant benefit from hearing aids. This documentation must meet the Coverage Criteria, but this is something your doctor will oversee.
Minnesota’s Medicaid program provides hearing aid services to patients in need. These services include medically requested audiological evaluations and appropriate hearing aids, including accessories and repairs. Physicians must also confirm that the person doesn’t have a medical or surgical condition that would impair the hearing aid fitting.
NH Medicaid is overseen by the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. New Hampshire’s Medicaid covers hearing aid evaluations, ear molds, the least costly hearing aids or pocket talkers, fittings, follow-ups, audiograms, hearing aid batteries (ongoing), replacement, and repairs. Monaural and binaural hearing aids may also be covered on a case-by-case basis.
Nevada Medicaid will cover hearing aid dispensers and fittings once every 24 months. Hearing aids must have a 12-month minimum warranty from the manufacturer, plus a second-year warranty or an authorization for additional insurance if a second-year warranty isn’t offered. They will also cover one package of four batteries per hearing aid per month and earmolds.
New York’s Medicaid program covers medically necessary hearing aids. Your primary physician will have to refer you to a qualified audiologist to determine whether you need the aids. New York will cover the appointments, screening, hearing aids, repairs, and accessory replacements.
Ohio Medicaid is monitored on the Ohio Benefits site. They cover audiology services but will only cover one conventional hearing aid every 4 years or one digital programmable hearing aid every 5 years. They cover two hearing aids only under special circumstances. You will need prior authorization before receiving your hearing aid(s).
SD’s Medicaid program covers medical supplies such as hearing aids if a doctor gives a prescription and a certificate of medical necessity. However, they will replace hearing aids only if three years have passed since your original fitting and current aids are not serviceable.
Texas’ Medicaid can reimburse for hearing aid fitters and dispensers if you have at least a 35-decibel hearing loss in both ears. You’ll be reimbursed for only one hearing aid per 5-year period. Replacements may be covered with prior authorization, one ear impression per aid, and ongoing battery replacement. Texas will not cover accessories or earmolds for adults.
Further financial assistance for hearing aid costs can be found here.
Vermont’s Medicaid program can cover audiological exams, screenings, assessments, and diagnostic tests for hearing loss. It can also cover analog or digital hearing aids, repair, replacement, modification, prescriptions for hearing aid batteries, fittings, training, and earmolds.
States With Limited Hearing Aid Coverage
Florida, Montana, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oregon, and Wyoming offer Medicaid coverage for hearing aids. However, you must have moderate to greater levels of hearing loss.
Hawaii, Iowa, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin offer hearing aid coverage for extreme hearing loss recommended by an audiologist.
If you live in one of these states, you can Google “your state’s name hearing aid coverage Medicaid” for more information. Then, check official government sites ending in “.gov” for the most accurate information.
The Medicaid States With No Hearing Aid Coverage
All remaining states not listed above did not have hearing aid coverage as of 2021. Since new laws are constantly being enacted, you should double-check to see if this has changed. Google your state as described above or call your Medicaid customer service line directly to ask if they cover hearing aids or auditory services.
Do I Need Hearing Aids?
Hearing loss often occurs in small increments, making it difficult to notice until you have difficulties hearing in everyday interactions.
Some signs that may point to hearing loss include:
- Hearing muffled speech and sounds
- Difficulty understanding words, especially in a noisy environment
- Difficulty hearing consonants
- Asking others to repeat themselves or speak up consistently
- Turning up the volume of your TV or radio – sometimes so much so that it bothers others
If you think you may have experienced hearing loss, you should first head to your primary physician for a general check-up. If they feel you need further tests, they will refer you to an audiologist or for other auditory examinations. These exams will determine your hearing ability and whether you would benefit from hearing aids.
How to Sign Up for Medicaid
If you are a low-income individual without health insurance, you may qualify for Medicaid. Medicaid is a low-cost and sometimes free health insurance service offered by the federal government and distributed state-by-state.
Eligibility considerations for Medicaid include your age, income, number of people in your household, and if you’re pregnant or disabled.
First, you should contact your state Medicaid agency to see if you meet the requirements.
If you meet the requirements, you can fill out an application through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
Save Money on Your Wireless Phone Service
You may qualify for assistance with your wireless costs if you’re currently a Medicaid recipient. In addition, you can apply for the Lifeline government benefit program and the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).