Oct 312011

Individuals with Medicare Part B coverage may wonder if Medicare covers cochlear implants for the hearing impaired or partially deaf senior, or to get Medicare to pay for hearing aid.

Surprisingly, Medicare will cover cochlear implants for patients that meet
Medicare guidelines for cochlear implant candidacy. However, unfortunately Medicare Part B does NOT cover hearing aids, so seniors that have only Medicare Part B coverage would need to pay 100 percent of the cost of hearing aids. And Medicare Part B will only cover diagnostic hearing exams in very limited cases, so it is likely that most seniors would not have those visits covered either.

However, many Medicare Advantage plans WILL help pay for hearing aids, with many providing a limited benefit of 500 to 1000 dollars toward a hearing aid, with the cost allowable only once every 1 to 3 years. Medicare’s website provides a searchable database where seniors that want a hearing aid can find a plan in their county that may offer that kind of coverage.

Another problem many seniors have with hearing impairment is “tinnitus” or a ringing sound in the ears. This condition is different from actual hearing loss, and can be quite disruptive to people’s lives.

It can be maddening to try to sleep with tinnitus. Often time, tinnitus can be difficult to treat. There are some prescription drugs that can help seniors with tinnitus. Those patients that are Medicare eligible might consider talking to their doctor for a pharmaceutical intervention. They also need to consider a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan to help pay for any medications need to help with tinnitus.

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