Starting in 2024, Vermont individual and small group health plans will cover one set of prescription hearing aids every three years and annual exams. This week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services approved expanded coverage in Vermont’s essential health benefit (EHB) for services including prescription hearing aids, the Scott administration announced.
Together with the Food and Drug Administration’s recent announcement establishing a new category of over-the-counter hearing aids, the new EHB benchmark plan ensures that Vermonters will have better access to affordable hearing aids than ever before.
A 2018 report from the Vermont Department of Health found that about 6% of Vermonters experience serious difficulty hearing and the Governor’s Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Deaf/Blind Advisory Council indicate that up to 70,000 Vermonters identify as hard of hearing.
Current research demonstrates that mild to moderate hearing loss doubles the risk of dementia, can increase the risk of falls, and contribute to depression.
According to a 2015 presentation from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, a single hearing aid typically about $2,400, which most consumers pay completely out-of-pocket. For Vermonters covered by health insurance marketplace plans, these costs will be covered by insurance rather than entirely paid out-of-pocket.
Categories: Health Care