Q: Will Medicare or Medicaid pay for my parent's hearing aid?

A: According to the official Medicare guidebook published by the federal government, Medicare doesn't cover hearing aids and exams for fitting hearing aids.

A person in a nursing home who has coverage under Medicaid may be able to request that part of their income be used to purchase a hearing aid rather than be paid directly to the nursing home, under the PETI (Post-Eligibility Treatment of Income) provisions.

As you can see, Medicaid is really paying for the hearing aid indirectly, by allowing the patient to divert income to purchase the hearing aid, while Medicaid pays the nursing home the cost of the hearing aid to make up for the diverted income.

Some Medicare Advantage Plans, health plan options that are available through Medicare, may have hearing aid coverage.

To determine if your Medicare Advantage Plan or other health insurance covers hearing aids or cochlear implants, check with your individual plan. Most plans have a toll free number for member services listed on the insurance card.

K. Gabriel Heiser is an elder law attorney and author of "How to Protect Your Family's Assets from Devastating Nursing Home Costs: Medicaid Secrets." Read his full biography