Although some might consider good hearing a luxury, it is really a necessity.
Besides allowing us to communicate with loved ones, friends, and business associates, hearing is an essential element in maintaining better overall health and a higher quality of living.
Tragically, hearing care is often pushed down the list of health priorities until the first symptoms of hearing loss show up.
Studies by experts at Johns Hopkins University indicate that most people wait at least ten years before seeking help from an audiologist while their condition worsens.
Although hearing aids can prevent additional damage, among the reasons my Big Country patients wait so long to take advantage of their benefits are the out of pocket costs and concerns that their insurance won’t cover the treatment.
This bit of information should provide a clearer picture of the coverage for hearing aids and hearing care you can expect from your BlueCross BlueShield Insurance plan.
You Can’t Rely on Your Medicare Plan
As many as one in three individuals between the ages of 65 and 74 have some degree of hearing loss, which increases to one in two for those over the age of 75, according to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD).
That means that the majority of people with a hearing loss are Medicare eligible, but Medicare programs do not cover hearing aids or hearing care.
Fortunately, many insurance companies provide Medicare supplement plans to help cover costs that Medicare does not.
BlueCross BlueShield provides four options with varying levels of provided coverage for hearing aids and hearing care, depending on the variations you choose.
Blue Elite (Medicare Supplement)
Blue Elite has fewer limitations than you will find in PPO and HMO plans, allowing you to see any doctor or specialist, including your audiologist, without a referral.
Although Blue Elite fills in many of Medicare’s coverage gaps, you must know that hearing aids and hearing care are not part of standard coverage.
Benefits may only be available if you have chosen to add certain options or riders to your plan.
BlueEssential or BlueCare Plus (HMO SNP)
The best part of these two plans is that they both provide you with the freedom to choose a broader range of doctors and specialists.
However, choosing a provider who is not on their list of approved HMO providers may limit or restrict the benefits you receive.
When it comes to covering hearing aids and hearing care, BlueEssential only provides benefits if you chose hearing care coverage among the options added to your plan.
In contrast, BlueCare Plus plans do offer full coverage for hearing aids and hearing care, but you will need to clarify the exact level of benefits you can expect.
In contrast to the other two options, BlueAdvantage is a preferred provider organization (PPO) plan.
It is less restrictive when compared to HMO plans, allowing members to choose their healthcare provider without a referral, as long as they’re approved by the insurance company’s network.
PPOs tend to have fewer restrictions when someone opts for an out-of-network provider. You can expect decent coverage for hearing aids and hearing care from Blue Advantage Medicare supplement insurance includes:
- Two hearing aids annually (one per ear) are purchased through TruHearing.
- Choose from two models: 1) a premium model that includes 48 channels, 6 programs, and 10 styles, 2) an advanced model that includes 32 channels, 6 programs, and 10 styles.
- Three follow-up visits for fitting and adjusting hearing aids are provided
- A 45-day trial period
- A three-year manufacturer warranty (repairs, one-time loss, and damage replacement)
- Non-rechargeable models come with 48 batteries per aid.
The Insurance Experts at Holland Hearing Center Can Help
Hearing aids provide a unique opportunity to continue living the independent and rewarding lifestyle you choose without skipping a beat.
Because we want our patients to experience the great benefits hearing aids provide, Holland Hearing Center goes the extra mile to help you get the financial help you need for your hearing aid investment.
Our insurance experts know exactly how to navigate and communicate with insurance companies, such as BlueCross BlueShield, to determine the level of benefits included in your coverage.