If you’ve had a few health care expenses in 2018, don’t let the end of the year slip by without investigating your hearing health care options. As you do, consider these three important questions:
1. Have you already met this year’s deductible for your insurance plan?
Insurance coverage for examinations and hearing aids varies from one insurance provider to the next, even from plan to plan under the same insurance company. If your insurance helps cover hearing aids, you need to meet your deductible before coverage kicks in. Then, the coverage is often a percentage of the total expense, such as 80 percent.
Some insurance companies also promote “discount options,” which may be purchased through a third party. Be sure you understand exactly what your plan offers. Often, these “benefits” or “discount options” limit the purchase of a specific device from a specific provider or manufacturer. They may offer a lower cost for the device only, which doesn’t include service; provides only low-end devices that may not work well for your specific hearing needs; or offer limited flexibility for the patient.
2. Do you have funds in a flexible spending account (FSA)? Or, do you have funds set aside in a health savings account (HSA)?
If you have a flexible spending account to save the pre-tax money to pay for your hearing aids, be sure to take advantage of this plan before the year ends. Typically, these benefits do not carry over from one calendar year to the next. If you have a health savings account, these pre-tax dollars are often available or more flexible to use at your discretion.
3. Do you have enough medical expenses in 2018 to qualify for a tax deduction?
If you itemize your medical expenses on your income taxes, hearing aids qualify. If you purchase hearing aids through our audiology practice, they qualify as medical devices and are exempt from sales tax, which may not be the case if you purchase hearing aids through retail outlets.
Call Us for Information
The Associated Audiologists staff has the expertise to check and verify your coverage, as well as provide detailed estimates of hearing aid recommendations and costs. We are happy to explore and explain all your options.