Will BBB pass the Senate, and will hearing health care be covered?

We are so excited to think about the Build Back Better Bill that Biden is trying to pass.  It just past the House legislation.  Will it pass the Senate?  We think Joe Manchin is going to be the hold up for the democrats.  It seems like this should be a bill that would pass no matter what affiliate.  Don’t republicans and democrats alike have hearing loss.   I am pretty sure every American would like to have hearing health care coverage.  We often hear from all our patients that they would want coverage and are upset when they hear that Medicare doesn’t cover hearing aids.  We know it is convoluted though because the medicare advantage plans pretend they cover hearing aids and hearing health care but they don’t.  They send the enrollee to a discounted hearing aid “company” that has providers enrolled to dispense for them.  Usually these network “companies” are owned by a hearing aid manufacturer or a insurance company!

Anyway, I digress.  We are hoping the bill passes.  Here is what it entails for Hearing care.

  • F or the first time in Medicare’s history, the bill would add coverage of treatment services provided by an audiologist.  Audiologists as practitioners would also be added to the list of providers eligible to furnish services via telehealth.
  • Hearing aids for people with moderately severe to profound hearing loss would be covered in one or both ears once every five years.  This does not include the upcoming FDA over-the-counter hearing aid class.   Any hearing aid covered by Medicare would require an order from a physician, nurse practitioner, audiologist, or other practitioners.
  • Medicare would also add a classification for a provider who is a “hearing aid dispensers”, making them eligible to provide assessment services as allowed by state licensure.
  • The bill categorizes hearing aids as a prosthetic device, which does not mean a lot to the patient but is important for dispensing professionals.  It would no longer fall under durable medical.  This is really important.  

If you are sensitive to this information and believe Medicare should open up for hearing health care, please call or write your representative!

Thank you for your time and please call us at Hears to U if you are interested in learning more about what we shared.

Cheers,  Kim