Now that the end of 2023 is approaching, we are often asked what our patients’ hearing aid benefits will be in 2024. Should they use their benefits before the end of this year or wait until next year? The answer to that question is we won’t know what new benefits will be until about the second week in January of next year. Many Medicare Part C plans will change their benefit structure at the beginning of the year.
Inflation has affected the cost of everything including the delivery of your hearing benefits. There are several ways that insurances can recoup decreased revenue. They can reduce level of benefits or increase the cost of patient copays. Sometimes they decrease the reimbursement to their providers.
The type of plan you have will dictate what type of changes will occur. For instance, Medicare does not cover hearing aids but many Medicare advantage plans do cover them. Some plans are simply discount purchase plans. You still pay for the hearing aids out of pocket but the plan has negotiated a discount with the manufacturers. You can probably expect that the discounts will shrink and prices will increase.
Some insurance recipients actually have a benefit that allows them to obtain a free set of hearing aids however, the level of technology and styles that are available may decrease. Those peoples’ copays for better technology will increase.
The number of providers for your particular plan may decrease because most insurances have not increased their provider reimbursements for a number of years now.
Overall, any type of hearing coverage is often better than no benefit at all. Many of our patients have chosen to obtain their benefits before the end of 2023 rather than risk the unknown of decreased benefits in 2024.
Call Gardner Audiology in Tampa Bay at 1-800-277-1182 for more information or to schedule a consultation with an audiologist. They are the hearing insurance experts. Stay tuned to this website for more information as new insurance plans are updated in 2024.