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.

Medicare Part B covers:

Some diagnostic hearing and balance exams, but only when your doctor or other health care provider orders them as part of an assesment of hearing loss due to other illness or injury.

Medicare does not cover routine hearing exams, hearing aids or exams for fitting hearing aids.

You pay 100% of routine hearing exams.

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.