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|WHY WE DO NOT TAKE MOST INSURANCE OR MEDICARE|
Audiologists can be Medicare providers and bill Medicare for hearing tests, however, it is important you understand.....
1) Medicare does not cover hearing aids. Medicare has never covered any part of the cost of hearing aids and most likely never will. If you need hearing aids, it is private pay. For more information, click on Medicare and hearing aid coverage.
2) Medicare does not allow audiologists to bill for ear cleanings. If you need your ears cleaned by an audiologist, it is private pay.
Audiologists and ENT physicians may bill Medicare for what is called "diagnostic tests" (audiology tests) as long as the purpose in no way involves determining the need, selection, or measurement of hearing aids. This is where the lines become fuzzy. Many audiologists contend their testing is purely "diagnostic" in nature and the determination of hearing aid needs are totally separate and in no way associated with the sale of hearing aids. Hm-m-m. This is debatable, if not downright untrue.
I believe it is deceptive to say, "YES, we take Medicare!" or "Yes, we take your insurance!" when rarely - if ever - it covers the much, much more expensive part of your visit - the hearing aid(s). That's why I believe it is more up front to say "We do NOT take insurance." In this way, you know the hearing aid(s) and/or ear cleaning is your responsibility.
Until 1993, I also billed Medicare and used the hearing examination to determine hearing aid needs, the same way other audiologists do now, but decided this was ethically and legally wrong and why I decided to stop billing Medicare for hearing exams.
MESSAGE SUMMARY: If you or someone you know plans to call around to find providers who take Medicare, be aware, it will NOT cover hearing aids.