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Optical and Hearing Aids

Vision issues can affect your quality of life. Proper vision is important for everyone, and problems with your vision can have significant social and financial effects. Most eye care problems are preventable with proper care. This is why vision care coverage is essential, and we have you covered.

A vision insurance policy can help you pay the expenses related to eye care such as routine yearly eye exams, vision corrective wear, contact lens examinations, corrective eye surgery and more. More eye insurance providers are beginning to expand vision benefits to the changing needs of policyholders and their families such as eye surgery procedures to permanently correct a vision problem. Benefits and policy options vary by carrier. You can often receive the greatest savings by choosing to use an eye care provider that is listed in your insurance company’s preferred provider (PPO) network.

These “preferred providers” offer benefits and services at a discounted rate to members of the participating vision plan.

Many vision plans now offer flexible spending accounts (FSA) allowing you to use pre-tax dollars deducted automatically from your payroll check to help pay for vision care expense. You may want to discuss the benefits of such a plan with your tax preparer in advance to see if the plan makes sense for you. It is important to note that money deposited into an FSA may not roll over into the next year.

Many companies have largely refused to provide insurance for hearing aids. While it is understandable that they would refuse to cover them for older adults on the grounds that too many people would want or need them, what about children? As the cost of hearing aids continues to rise, more parents and individuals are challenging insurance companies.

How to Determine If Your Health Plan Coverage for Hearing Aids

To determine if your health insurance covers hearing aids, check with your individual plan. Look for the toll-free number for member services listed on the insurance card. Even if you have it, insurance coverage for hearing aids varies in how it is administered. In addition, hearing aid coverage within a plan can vary depending on where you live. For example, Kaiser Permanent offers a hearing aid benefit with a credit per ear option available every 36 months, but it depends only in certain places.

 About two dozen states currently mandate health insurance companies provide full or partial hearing aid coverage for children. Unfortunately, only a few states mandate health insurance companies provide hearing aid coverage for adults.

Our recent study examining the connections between hearing aid use and health care use and costs indicates that hearing aid use among people with severe hearing loss is linked to lower chances of emergency visits and hospitalization, fewer nights in the hospital when hospitalized, and a higher probability of physician office visits compared with those with severe hearing loss who do not use hearing aids.