Key Takeaways

  • Nearly one in three older adults age 65-74, and over half of those age 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. age 65-74, and over half of those age 75+, have hearing loss. The loss of your hearing can make it hard to go about everyday life, including how you participate in conversations with friends and family and your ability to enjoy social activities, like movies and concerts. This can be frustrating, embarrassing, and can even impact your mental health.

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, and how do I know what hearing aid I should purchase?

  • Sertoma, a civic service organization that helps connect people with hearing assistance, 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.
  • The Hearing Loss Association of America offers guidance on its Financial Assistance webpage.
  • 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. 
  • NCOA Adviser's hearing aid review provides everything you need to know to find the right device for your needs and budget, including a quick look at the best hearings aids of 2022.