Medicare and Hearing Aids
Hearing loss is very common among aging adults. Your hearing loss may stem from several causes, though the most common is sensorineural. That means that the tiny hairs inside your ears have been damaged and are deteriorating, usually because of aging. You losing your hearing if you notice that straining to hear thing clearly makes you tired, or if you watch the mouths of people around you to understand what they are saying. Other troubling signs of hearing loss include having difficulty hearing people in public places where there is a lot of ambient sound, or if you often find yourself asking people to repeat themselves.
Hearing Aid Exams
The signs of hearing loss can be troubling, but you can do something about it. The first step is a hearing exam. You can ask your family doctor to administer this hearing exam, and if your doctor does not do these tests, you can ask for a referral to a hearing aid professional. There are two different kinds of hearing exams, but only one is covered by Medicare. The typical hearing exam, often similar to regular health checkups, is not covered.
If you want your hearing exam to be covered by Medicare, you should opt for a diagnostic hearing aid exam. It is based on medical need, which is often related to illness or surgery. These exams must be prescribed by your doctor.
Hearing Aid Specialists
There are many different healthcare professionals who qualify as hearing aid specialists. You may be able to get a Medicare-covered hearing exam from an audiologist, otolaryngologist, or a certified hearing aid specialist. These professionals can help assess your hearing loss and also if your loss is a good fit for hearing aids. Make sure that your specialist is trained and certified, and is using up-to-date testing equipment in a sound controlled room for accuracy.
Your Hearing Exam
Remember that your hearing exam should be ordered by a doctor in order to get coverage under Medicare Part B. You may also be able to get Medicare coverage for hearing exams following a loss of hearing due to accident, injury.
During a hearing exam, you should expect to have an ordinary conversation with your hearing aid specialist, at least to start. Make sure you have specific details to share about when your hearing loss began and when you have the hardest time hearing. You will also be tested using specialized hearing technology.