Does Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal Insurance Cover Me for Hearing Care?

2023-04-17 | Hearing Aids, Insurance, Patient Resources

Your hearing healthcare provider can check your insurance benefits on your behalf.

At SLENT Hearing & Balance Center, we’re lucky to support thousands of local people across South Louisiana with their hearing healthcare every year.

Unfortunately, many people still need hearing treatment but don’t seek help due to some objections surrounding hearing care.

Common barriers to people seeking help for their hearing loss include:

  • Denial or lack of awareness of the problem
  • Misconceptions surrounding the cost or stigma associated with wearing hearing aids
  • The belief that hearing loss is a normal part of aging and not a treatable condition
  • Difficulty accepting the need for help
  • Lack of access to hearing healthcare professionals or technology

People need to understand that hearing loss can significantly impact their quality of life and that effective treatment options are available.

Insurance is one of the many gateways that make hearing healthcare accessible to those facing objections.

Why Do People Avoid Dealing With Insurance?

Hearing care insurance can be complicated for several reasons:

  1. Coverage varies widely: Hearing care insurance coverage varies widely depending on the insurance plan and the state where the person lives. Some insurance plans may not cover any hearing-related services or devices. In contrast, others may cover only a portion of the costs.
  2. Pre-existing conditions: Many insurance plans do not cover pre-existing conditions, including hearing loss. This means that people who have had a hearing loss for a long time may not be able to get coverage for it through their insurance.
  3. Limited provider network: Some insurance plans have a limited network of providers they will cover, making it difficult for people to find an audiologist or hearing aid dispenser covered by their insurance.
  4. Lack of standardization: There needs to be more standardization in how insurance plans cover hearing care. This can make it difficult for people to understand what their coverage includes and what they must pay out of pocket.
  5. Limited benefit: Many insurance plans have a limited benefit for hearing aids, meaning they will only cover a certain amount of the cost of a hearing aid, leaving the rest to be paid by the patient.

At SLENT Hearing & Balance Center, we want to take the challenges associated with insurance out of the equation for the many local people seeking support with their hearing care.

If you want to find out whether Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal insurance covers you for hearing aids and hearing healthcare, this article explains everything you need to know.

What Is Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal Insurance?

Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) is a federation of 36 independent health insurance companies in the United States that provides health coverage to more than 106 million people. 

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) is the organization that oversees independent companies and sets the standards for the plans they offer.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal Employee Program (FEP) is a health insurance program available to federal employees, retirees, and their families. 

It is administered by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and is the most significant health benefit to federal employees. 

The program provides coverage through the Blue Cross Blue Shield network of providers, which includes a wide range of doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare providers, such as audiologists. 

The coverage options available through the FEP vary depending on the chosen plan but generally include various medical and prescription drug benefits.

Hearing Aid Benefits with BCBS Federal Insurance

Hearing aid benefits will depend on the specific plan and coverage options chosen by the individual. 

Some Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal Employee Program (FEP) plans may cover some or all of the costs associated with hearing aids, including the cost of the device and related services such as fittings and follow-up visits. 

However, coverage for hearing aids is not guaranteed under all FEP plans and may depend on the selected option. 

It is essential to review the specific plan details, including the coverage summary, to understand the available hearing aid benefits. 

Some plans may have specific requirements that must be met before coverage is provided, such as getting prior authorization or having a professional hearing assessment with your audiologist.

It’s best to check with the specific plan or BCBS customer service to confirm if it covers hearing aids and their limitation.

What Hearing Aids Can You Get with BCBS Federal Insurance?

The specific hearing aids covered by Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal Employee Program (FEP) plans will depend on the particular plan and coverage options chosen by the individual. 

Some plans may have a list of preferred providers or specific manufacturers that are covered. In contrast, others may have more flexible coverage options. 

It is best to check with the specific plan or with BCBS customer service to understand what hearing aids are covered by the plan.

Additionally, most insurance plans, including BCBS, have a limit on the cost of the hearing aid, which will determine the type of hearing aid that can be covered by the plan; usually basic or entry-level hearing aids are covered by insurance plans. 

If the individual wants higher-end, advanced hearing aids, they may have to pay more out of pocket.

It’s important to note that FEP plan’s coverage for hearing aids may change periodically, so it’s always best to check with the plan or with BCBS customer service for the most up-to-date information on hearing aid coverage.

How to Check Your Insurance Benefits

Your hearing healthcare provider (such as an audiologist at SLENT Hearing & Balance Center) can check your insurance benefits on your behalf. 

We have dedicated staff responsible for checking insurance benefits and working with our patients to understand their coverage.

We can help you understand what services and treatments are covered by your insurance plan and any out-of-pocket costs you may be responsible for. 

We may also be able to help you with the process of getting prior authorization or filing claims.

However, it is important to note that checking insurance benefits is a complex process that can vary depending on the specific insurance plan, our agreement with the insurance company, and your plan option.

Sometimes, we might not have real-time access to the insurance benefit; in that case, we may ask you to check your insurance benefits before your appointment.

It’s always best to check your coverage before seeking treatment or investing in a hearing aid to ensure that you are aware of any out-of-pocket costs you may be responsible for.

Check Your Insurance Benefits With Us

The cost of prioritizing your hearing healthcare is invaluable compared to the cost of missing life’s most precious moments.

At SLENT Hearing & Balance Center, our team of expert audiologists would love to help you achieve a lifetime of better hearing.

To take the first step on your journey, click here to have one of our experts check your insurance benefits.

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Dr. JJ Martinez, AuD, FAAA

J.J. was born in Wichita, KS, and was brought up in a Marine Corps family. Following in his father’s footsteps, he joined the Marine Corps after high school and was stationed in Camp Lejeune, NC. After going to college at Southeastern Louisiana University, he went to graduate school and got his doctorate degree from Louisiana State University Health Science Center in New Orleans, LA. Soon after, he started his career in audiology and became board certified in Audiology.


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