Hearing loss is usually gradual, and people often fail to recognize when it becomes severe enough to warrant hearing aids. Some deny that they have a problem, and instead accuse others of mumbling.

Part B, which is intended to cover medically necessary and preventive services, “covers diagnostic hearing and balance exams if your doctor or other health care provider orders these tests to see if you need medical treatment. Medicare doesn’t cover routine exams and hearing aids or exams for fitting hearing aids. In 2015, you pay 100% for routine exams and hearing aids. You also pay 20% for the Medicare-approved amount for the doctor’s services for covered exams, and the Part B Deductible applies”, per Medicare.gov.

This is the financial dilemma now facing an aging population in which one adult in five — nearly 50 million Americans — has hearing loss, a number that has doubled since 2000 and likely to keep growing, according to the Hearing Health Foundation (hearinghealthfoundation.org). This number actually surpasses the number of people with Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes combined.

When we think of hearing aids, we think of the unattractive nude objects stuck in the ear. If properly fitted and adjusted, the modern aids can be synchronized wireless with Bluetooth to a smart phone, they can be fitted to improve hearing in theaters, sports arenas, concerts, lecture halls and can come equipped with a hearing loop (a thin copper wire that radiates electromagnetic signals, which can be picked up by the tiny receiver built into most hearing aids and cochlear implants.)

Before reviewing a Consumer Report or checking a Buying Guide, it is always critical to first be examined by a medical doctor, preferably an ear, nose and throat specialist, who can check for correctable medical conditions, such as those that may be related to impacted ear wax. Next, you will need to complete an audiological exam, conducted in a soundproof room. This process will check your ears for the ability to hear consonants and words in their entirety.

It’s always best to having a Dental, Vision and Hearing–or a plan that provides unique support for hearing exams and assistance with purchasing your hearing aids. If you have a concern regarding the current plan you are enrolled in, contact one of our licensed insurance professionals to review your plan and see if you qualify for coverage on hearing exams or hearing aids. Speak to a licensed agent now by calling 1-866-466-9118.