Key Takeaways

  • Nearly one in three older adults aged 65-74, and over half of those aged 75+, have hearing loss.

  • Medicare does not cover routine hearing assessments or hearing aids.

  • Several charitable foundations and other resources may be available to help you pay for hearing aids.

Nearly one in three older adults in the U.S. aged 65-74, and over half of those aged 75+, have hearing loss.

Yet while Medicare pays for a wide range of services, including many preventive benefits, it does not pay for hearing aids and routine hearing tests.

Does Medicare cover hearing aids and tests?

Original Medicare (Parts A & B) does not cover hearing exams, or hearing aids and fittings. Medicare Part B does cover diagnostic hearing and balance exams if a provider orders these tests to see if a person requires medical treatment for a condition other than hearing loss. For example, such tests may be used to diagnose the cause of dizziness or vertigo.

If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, check with your plan to see whether any hearing services or supplies are covered.

Where can I get help paying for hearing aids and tests?

  • Sertoma is a civic service organization that helps connect people with hearing assistance. Sertoma has a comprehensive listing of national and state charitable programs, organized by state.
  • Help America Hear is an assistance program from the Foundation for Sight and Sound providing new hearing aids for low-income individuals.
  • The Hearing Industries Association maintains a Guide to Financial Assistance for Hearing Aids. The association also recommends negotiating on the price of hearing aids.
  • Some local Lions’ Clubs run projects which distribute affordable hearing aids to those in need. Contact your local chapter to see if it offers the program.