Finding ways to pay for hearing aids, especially if you’re on a tight budget, can be a challenge. But given the benefits associated with better hearing—including improved mood, productivity, emotional well-being and more—they pay for themselves in more ways than one. You may be able to take advantage of some of the following options:
Let’s start here first. Paying out of pocket with your own purchasing power. Hearing care professionals accept cash, checks, and major credit cards, allowing you to pay for your purchase privately. If you are like most Americans needing some help paying for hearing aids, there are other options.
Health care flexible spending accounts (FSA)
An FSA is an employer sponsored benefit that enables employees to set aside pre-tax dollars out of their paycheck to pay for eligible health care expenses. If you are married, both you and your spouse can put up to $2650.00 into separate FSA accounts and use the funds from both accounts to cover the cost of hearing aids. Monies put into the plan avoid both Federal Income Tax and FICA. Unused funds don’t typically rollover into the following calendar year so they need to be used before they expire. Through this account, the cost of a hearing aid and batteries can be reimbursed. Don’t have an FSA? There are other accounts employers offer that work in the same way as an FSA, like Dependent Care Accounts (DCA) and Health Savings Accounts (HSA).
Many states, including Iowa, do not require that health insurance policies include coverage for hearing aids for adults. If your health insurance policy has coverage for hearing aids, there are some important things to know.
The availability to use insurance to help pay for hearing aids is on a case-by-case basis. Present your insurance card to the audiologist office and have them check with your insurance company to see what is covered.
If you’re a federal employee, you and your family can receive coverage on certain insurance plans. The insurance pays for a basic hearing aid.
Tax Refunds and Deductions.
If you are like most Americans, you use your tax refund to cover major expenses. You can also use expenses for hearing aids to increase your tax deduction. Hearing aids, hearing aid batteries and mileage to and from appointments may be tax deductible. Take your purchase agreement to your accountant and they can tell you based on your personal financial situation, if any of the items are, and by how much. The deduction, and even the possibility of a deduction is different for each situation.
Using a low to no-interest financing option made especially for health care is another option. Breaking down the cost of hearing aids into small monthly payments can be helpful.
If a hearing loss can be proven to be severe, veterans can get the cost of their hearing aids covered through the U.S Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). Veterans also get coverage if their hearing loss is connected to military service or to a medical condition treated at a VA hospital.
Medicare and Medicaid
At this time Medicare does not cover the cost of hearing aids. However, because Medicare laws are continually changing, it’s always a good idea to double check coverage details before making any medical decisions. Medicaid, however often covers hearing aids, depending on each state’s requirements. The Hearing Loss Association of America’s website has more information on state coverage, http://www.hearingloss.org/content/medicaid-regulations.