Hearing loss is a common condition for people after the age of 65. In fact, statistics show that in the United States one out of every three people between the age of 65 and 75 has some degree of hearing loss. After the age of 75, that percentage jumps up to 50 percent.

Age-related or chronic hearing loss is something that occurs over time and is not as noticeable or dramatic as acute hearing loss or deafness. Some reasons why people over 65 experience hearing loss include changes to the inner or middle ear, years of exposure to loud noise, some medical conditions including diabetes, and certain medications like some that are used in chemotherapy.

If you are having difficulty hearing or understanding what family members or co-workers are saying, or if you find yourself turning up the volume on the television or radio, you may be experiencing hearing loss.

If you suspect you have hearing loss, you should make an appointment with your health care provider to get advice about the next step in your care. They may refer you to an otolaryngologist, audiologist, or to a hearing aid specialist. Having Medicare benefits for these hearing check-ups and for hearing aids if your health care provider prescribes them is a great advantage. Here are the details about whether your Medicare insurance includes coverage.

Do Aetna Medicare Advantage plans offer hearing aid benefits?

More and more people are using hearing aids today. They have become smaller and more effective than older models and this makes them more attractive as a means of boosting hearing. But, do your Medicare benefits cover the cost of hearing examinations and hearing aids?

Original Medicare recipients do not have coverage for hearing exams unless they are considered as diagnostic evaluations that a health care provider orders as part of a treatment plan. Also, Original Medicare insurance does not cover hearing aids. But, if you have a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan with a private insurance provider like Aetna, you may have coverage for both.

Medicare recipients who wish to purchase a Medicare Advantage plan from private providers like Aetna may have the option to pay for additional coverage which can include hearing care and hearing aids.

With Aetna insurance, the extra care may either be included in your plan’s premium or it may come under Aetna’s Optional Supplemental Benefit. If the latter is the case, you must pay an additional premium.

Aetna further separates this optional care into two categories: as an allowance benefit where you may visit any licensed provider in the United States who accepts Medicare assignment, or as a network benefit which mandates that your care be provided by a health care provider within the plan’s network.

How do hearing aids improve your hearing?

Hearing aids are small, electronic devices that magnify sound. You can get hearing aids that you can either wear behind your ear, or inside the ear canal.

While hearing aids may not restore your hearing back to normal, they can help you hear more clearly and raise your quality of life.

It is important to work closely with your health care provider as there is generally a period of adjustment to the hearing aids. You may not find them comfortable or effective at first, but professionals can make any necessary adaptations and help you get used to them.

For thousands of Medicare recipients, having additional coverage for hearing check-ups and hearing aids is essential. You can find out more about Aetna’s Medicare Advantage plans and hearing care benefits online or by speaking to a licensed representative.

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