Does Medicare & Insurance Cover Hearing Aids in 2024?

Aug 14, 2023
Fact Checked

Key Takeaways

Hearing aids are expensive, averaging $4,600 per pair or $2,700 per ear, and one way people try to cover the cost is by turning to Medicare.1 But does Medicare actually cover hearing aids?

In this article our Reviews Team breaks down some common questions related to hearing aids and coverage options from insurance providers such as Medicare. We’ll explore questions such as: What is Medicare? Does Medicare cover hearing aids and hearing exams?

In answering these questions, we hope this will bring you one step closer to finding the top hearing aids that fit your needs.

What is Medicare?

Medicare is a federal health insurance program for people 65 and older, people with end-stage kidney disease, and younger people with certain types of disabilities.

Medicare has four parts: Part A, Part B, Part C (Medicare Advantage), and Part D (prescription drug coverage).

Does Medicare cover hearing aids?

Medicare Parts A and B don’t cover the cost of hearing aids, fittings for hearing aids, or hearing exams that are specifically for the purpose of buying a hearing aid. But, Medicare Parts A and B do cover hearing exams for diagnostic purposes, as long as you have a referral from your doctor.2

Some Medicare Advantage plans cover hearing aids, exams, and hearing services, but that will depend on your individual plan.3

Does Medicare cover hearing exams?

Medicare Part B covers part of the cost of a diagnostic hearing and balance exam if your doctor orders it to determine if you need medical treatment. You will still need to pay the Part B deductible plus 20% of the approved Medicare cost, and there may be other charges, especially if you’re being seen in a hospital setting.5

Does Medicare Advantage cover hearing aids?

Medicare Advantage (Part C) offers coverage for hearing services, and in many cases Medicare Advantage covers some of the cost of hearing aids.

Medicare Advantage is private medical insurance bundled with your original Medicare Part A or B plan, so the level of hearing aid coverage will depend on which private insurance company you have chosen for your Medicare Advantage plan.7

To find out whether your Medicare Advantage policy covers hearing aids and services, contact your insurance company at the phone number listed on your membership card and ask the customer representative, “What are my hearing aid benefits?”

You can also contact a Medicare representative at 1-800-MEDICARE, chat with a representative online at, or consult NCOA’s extensive guidance on navigating your Medicare benefits.

How to add Medicare Advantage to your Medicare plan

If you don’t have Medicare Advantage but are interested in adding it to your Medicare plan, talk to a licensed Medicare professional to compare the different insurance plans that are available. Read the federal government’s rules for Medicare representatives, so you are prepared before making any calls.

A licensed Medicare agent will help you compare benefits offered by different insurance companies, so you can determine which insurance plan has the best hearing aid coverage. The agent will also help you compare other benefits that are important to you, and calculate your monthly premiums and deductibles, so you can decide which plan best fits within your budget.

Why doesn’t Medicare cover hearing aids?

“When Medicare originally was passed into law in 1965, it did not include coverage for hearing or dental or vision,” said Garrett Ball, owner and president of, and a licensed Medicare insurance broker.

“The rationale was lifespans were shorter and not as many people lived long enough to need hearing aids,” he said. “Also, hearing aids were cheaper then—although obviously less advanced. Although it has been a commonly debated topic many times since then, Medicare still does not cover hearing aids.”

Will Medicare cover hearing aids in the future?

“Not without Medicare reform,” said Travis Price, an independent licensed insurance agent in Michigan.  Price is also not hopeful Medicare will cover hearing aids in the future. “There have been multiple attempts to pass legislation that would add coverage for hearing aids—as well as dental and vision—into Medicare,” he said.

One of the more recent ones was the Seniors Have Eyes, Ears, and Teeth Act, which was introduced in 2019 but never made any progress.

Other programs to help with the costs of hearing aids exist, Ball said, but he felt uncertain about whether the Medicare program would ever add hearing aids to their standard Medicare coverage.

How much do hearing aids cost?

Hearing aids cost, on average, $4,600 per pair.1 Costs can vary depending on whether the hearing aids have advanced technology and special features, such as Bluetooth, rechargeable batteries, and telecoil.

In our Reviews Team’s survey of hearing aid users, the majority of respondents reported price was the most important factor when shopping for a hearing aid.

How to save money on hearing aids

Hearing aids are expensive, but there are several strategies that can help you save money.

Start by researching charitable foundations like the Hearing Aid Project or the Miracle-Ear Foundation to find out if you’re eligible, and reach out to your local Lions Clubs and area agency on aging.

For more information about benefits in your area, visit our Benefits CheckUp, check out our AgeWellPlanner for tools and resources to help you understand Medicare costs, or see our list of organizations that can help you pay for hearing aids and tests.

You might also have other options to help pay for hearing aids, including private health insurance, flexible spending accounts, health savings accounts, or Veterans Administration benefits.

Does Medicaid cover hearing aids?

Medicaid provides health coverage to eligible low-income adults, children, pregnant women, older adults, and people with disabilities. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “Each state operates its own Medicaid program within federal guidelines. Because the federal guidelines are broad, states have a great deal of flexibility in designing and administering their programs. As a result, Medicaid eligibility and benefits can and often do vary widely from state to state.”5

Medicaid coverage for hearing aids varies by state, according to the Hearing Loss Association of America.4 Of the 50 states, 20 don’t provide any type of hearing aid coverage for adults. For the 30 states that do provide coverage for hearing aids, there are limitations to coverage that are specific to each state. In most cases, Medicaid recipients must first have a medical diagnosis and a prescription for hearing aids from their doctor. In California, for example, “hearing aids must be supplied by a hearing aid dispenser on the prescription of an otolaryngologist (a doctor who treats issues of the ear, nose, or throat), or the attending physician.”4

It’s worth noting federal guidelines require all states to provide hearing aid coverage and services for children and young adults until the age of 21.

The best inexpensive hearing aids

Many hearing aid companies on the market offer inexpensive and reliable hearing aids.

For example, in our best affordable hearing aids review, our Reviews Team chose MDHearing as “Most Versatile Hearing Aid,” Audien as “Most Affordable,” and Audicus as “Best for Bluetooth.”

Read more about these brands in our MDHearing review, Audien review, and Audicus review.

For a wider selection of hearing aids at different price points, see our review of the best hearing aids on the market.

Table 1 Comparing the best inexpensive hearing aids, as of May 2023

Jabra Enhance





per pair

Warranty1–3 years1 year manufacturer’s warranty1 or 2 years, depending on model1 or 2 years, depending on model2 years
BatteryRechargeable or disposableRechargeableRechargeableRechargeable Rechargeable or disposable
BluetoothYesNoYes, depending on modelYes, depending on modelYes, depending on model

Different parts of Medicare, explained

Medicare has four parts: Part A, Part B, Part C (Medicare Advantage), and Part D (prescription drug coverage). Keep reading for an explanation of each part of Medicare, and see our overview of your Medicare plan options.

Medicare Part A and Part B

Medicare Part A covers home health services, hospice care, inpatient hospital care, nursing home care (not covered when custodial care is the only care you need), and skilled nursing facility care.

Medicare Part B covers limited outpatient prescription drugs, clinical research, necessary medical services, preventive services like flu immunizations or diabetes screenings, mental health (inpatient, outpatient, and partial hospitalization), durable medical equipment, and ambulance services.

Medicare Parts A and B do not cover hearing aids or related hearing exams, eyeglass exams, dental care, dentures, routine foot care, acupuncture, cosmetic surgery, or long-term care.

Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage)

Medicare Advantage includes all of the same benefits of Medicare Parts A and B, excluding the clinical trials, hospice services, and other temporary benefits determined by legislation or national coverage.

But Medicare Advantage adds a private medical insurance plan that is chosen by you based on your needs and budget. Your private insurance plan is then bundled with your original Medicare Part A or B plan, so you have all the benefits of Parts A and B, plus the benefits of your private plan. Any out-of-pocket expenses for the added benefits will be determined by the insurance carrier you choose.

Private insurance companies offer a variety of benefits options, and what one company offers may not be offered by another. But what most Medicare Advantage plans do offer is coverage for vision, hearing, and dental services (coverage may be limited to specific types of procedures), over-the-counter drugs, transportation to doctor visits, services that promote health and wellness, and fitness programs.

Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage)

Medications or drugs covered by Medicare Part D will vary depending on the insurance company, but Part D insurance plans will cover at least two drugs in the most commonly prescribed categories and classes, such as antidepressants and antipsychotics.

According to, “If you or your prescriber (your doctor or other health care provider who’s legally allowed to write prescriptions) believes none of the drugs on your plan’s formulary (list of covered drugs) will work for your condition, you can ask for an exception.”11

How to apply for Medicare

If you are 65 or older and want to apply for Medicare, you can visit, call 1-800-633-4227, or go in-person to your local Social Security office. “You will need to complete the Form CMS-40B to apply—as well as the CMS L-564, if you are covered under a group plan,” said Ball.

For more information on applying for Medicare for yourself or a loved one, check out our guide on How to Apply for Medicare.

What are over-the-counter hearing aids?

Over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids are intended for people with mild to moderate hearing loss.

In 2017, Congress passed the “Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act” to make it easier for people to buy affordable hearing aids without being required to consult a hearing professional or audiologist.12

In July 2021, President Joe Biden issued an executive order asking the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which includes the FDA, to issue guidance on OTC hearing aids.13

In August 2022, OTC hearing aids became FDA-approved for sale in the United States, with sales beginning in October 2022.

You can now purchase OTC hearing aids online or in stores without being required to see an audiologist or hearing professional for a consultation. Explore the best over the counter hearing aids from trusted brands.

Bottom line

Does Medicare cover hearing aids? Unfortunately, the answer is no.

Medicare is a federal health insurance program for people 65 and older, people with end-stage kidney disease, and younger people with certain types of disabilities.

Medicare has four parts: Medicare Parts A, B, C, and D. While Medicare Parts A and B do not cover the cost of hearing aids or hearing services related to hearing aids, some Medicare Advantage plans do offer coverage for hearing aids and services, depending on the plan you choose.

In addition, there are different ways to save money on hearing aids, including charitable foundations, local Lions Clubs, and your local area agency on aging.

Frequently asked questions

No, Medicare Parts A and B do not cover the cost of hearing aids, which includes fittings and hearing exams with the intended purpose of prescribing hearing aids. Depending on your plan, some Medicare Advantage plans offer coverage for some types of hearing services, including hearing aids and exams.

When Medicare was originally passed into law in 1965, it did not include coverage for hearing, dental, or vision care. Although there have been attempts at the federal level to pass legislation that would add Medicare coverage for hearing aids and other hearing services (as well as vision and dental), the most recent being the “Seniors Have Eyes, Ears, and Teeth Act” in 2019, legislators have not yet agreed to make the changes.

“For most people, hearing aids are not tax-deductible, but they can be deductible if you qualify to claim a deduction for medical expenses,” said Kari Brummond, a tax preparer at TaxCure. “To deduct your hearing aids, your total medical expenses must exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income.”

Hearing aids can last from three to seven years, depending on how they’re cared for, worn, stored, and how much moisture and heat they are exposed to.

No, Medicare doesn’t pay for tinnitus treatment. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, tinnitus treatment is “considered an experimental therapy” and doesn’t have enough “controlled clinical trials demonstrating effectiveness.”14

Have questions about this article? Email us at


  1. Obama White House Archives. FDA Takes Action to Deliver Lower-Cost, Innovative Hearing Aids to Millions More Americans. Found on the internet at
  2. What’s not covered by Part A & Part B? Found on the internet at
  3. Medicare Advantage Plans cover all Medicare services. Found on the internet at
  4. Hearing Loss Association of America. Medicaid. Found on the internet at
  5. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Policy Basics: Introduction to Medicaid. Found on the internet at
  6. Hearing & balance exams. Found on the internet at
  7. Medicare Advantage Plans cover all Medicare services. Found on the internet at
  8. 116th Congress House Bill 576. Seniors Have Eyes, Ears, and Teeth Act. Found on the internet at
  9. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Hearing Healthcare for Adults, Priorities for Improving Access and Affordability. Found on the internet at
  10. U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. Hearing Aids. Found on the internet at
  11., What Medicare Part D drug plans cover. Found on the internet at
  12., Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017. Found on the internet at
  13. The White House. Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy. Found on the internet at
  14. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Tinnitus Masking. Found on the internet at
chrissy holm headshot
Chrissy Holm Author
Chrissy Holm is a writer and content editor with experience in health and wellness, weight loss, and hypertension. With her degree in Public Health Education and Promotion, she has designed promotional items, helped clients reach their health goals, and has written about sustainable agriculture and healthy food access for a local Minnesota nonprofit.
brad ingrao headshot
Brad Ingrao Medical Reviewer
As a practicing audiologist since the 1990s, Brad Ingrao, AuD, has fitted thousands of hearing aids to older adults and people of all ages. He is an active member of the Hearing Loss Association of America, including the National Association, the Florida State Association, several local chapters, and a guest presenter for the newly formed Veterans Virtual Chapter. In addition, Dr. Ingrao is on the Board of Directors for the Association of Adult Musicians with Hearing Loss.