Medicaid coverage assists millions of Americans that can not afford health insurance. Medicaid programs provide needed coverage and access to health care services to children and adults for preventative care or ongoing treatment for health issues. Hearing aids are covered by some states under certain stipulations.
Under the Social Security Act, Medicaid was formed in 1965. The program federally funds medical benefits to low-income people to cover health care costs for 38 million families including 3.4 million elderly and persons with disabilities, according to MedicaidDentistry.com.
Although Medicaid is a federal program, operating guidelines for Medicaid are established by each state making eligibility requirements different from state to state. In all states, Medicaid covers people making 100 percent of the federal poverty level. Some states allow for coverage to those making more than the federal poverty level. A list of each state’s eligibility guidelines for Medicaid is available at www.govbenefits.gov.
Hearing Aid Coverage
In some states, Medicaid may cover hearing aids if there is a medical necessity and the following guidelines apply: the hearing aid is specific to the individual’s symptoms and it is confirmed that there is an injury or illness that necessitates a hearing aid; there is no other options that are equally effective and cost less; the main purpose of the hearing aid is not cosmetic or for the convenience of the patient’s caregiver.
Equipment Covered by Medicaid
If hearing aids are covered by a state’s Medicaid program, certain hearing aid services that may be eligible for coverage include: hearing aids, FM systems, initial care kit, batteries, repairs, cord replacement tubes, retention straps, retention garment, harnesses, baby covers, custom ear molds and dispensing fees.
Hearing aids and services may not be covered if the equipment is not medically needed, the hearing aid duplicates another provider’s services, or the equipment is experimental or in clinical trials. Items not covered by Medicaid could include battery chargers, adapters for electronics or extended warranty policies.
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