Does Medicare Cover Hearing Tests?

by David Bynon, last updated

Medicare Part B covers diagnostic hearing and balance tests if your doctor or other health care provider orders them. It does not cover routine hearing exams. However, many Medicare Advantage plans cover routine hearing exams as an additional benefit.

Key Takeaways

  • Routine hearing tests check a person’s vision for disease and damage.
  • Hearing aids may be prescribed during a hearing test if the person’s hearing has been notably damaged.
  • Medicare Part B will only cover hearing tests if they are part of medically necessary treatments, such as chronic vertigo and/or cochlear implants.
  • Standard routine hearing tests can cost $60 to $80 without coverage.
  • Most Medicare Advantage plans have coverage for routine hearing tests.
  • Medigap policies are available to help with the costs of eye exams when Part B provides coverage for them.

What Are Hearing Tests?

During a hearing test, you will have several physical examinations of your ears to diagnose any signs of damage or ailments to your hearing. These will include visual examinations of the ear for damage and obstructions and auditory tests to evaluate any hearing loss you may have suffered. If your hearing loss is caused by excessive earwax, your doctor can flush your ears to restore your, “Hearing loss“, Accessed November 11, 2021

Hearing Aids

Your doctor may determine that you require hearing aids for you to hear clearly. They will help you get fitted for hearing aids depending on the strength and size needed, such as:

  • Completely in the canal (CIC)
  • In the canal (ITC)
  • In the ear (ITE)
  • Behind the ear (BTE)
  • Receiver in canal (RIC)
  • Receiver in the ear (RITE)
  • Open-fit

When receiving a hearing test, the doctor will determine if you need a new hearing aid prescription due to changes in your, “Hearing aids“, Accessed November 11, 2021

How Does Medicare Cover Hearing Tests?

Sadly, Medicare will not cover your routine hearing tests. Medicare will only provide coverage for hearing tests if they are part of medically necessary treatments, such as checking, “Hearing & balance exams“, Accessed November 11, 2021

  • Eardrum trauma
  • Inner ear infections
  • Chronic vertigo
  • Cochlear Implants


Vertigo, also known as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), is when you experience mild to intense dizziness when shifting the position of your head, such as sitting up or laying down. If you are experiencing chronic vertigo spells, one of the potential causes can be a damaged inner ear, which can cause hearing loss, frequent sudden dizziness, and loss of balance when moving your, “Vertigo“, Accessed November 11, 2021 Hearing and balance exams to diagnose vertigo are covered by Medicare Part B when ordered by your, “Hearing & balance exams“, Accessed November 11, 2021.

Cochlear Implants

A cochlear implant is a small electronic device that electrically stimulates the ear to treat hearing loss when hearing aids are no longer effective. This incredible tool extends outside the ear to pick up sound waves and transmits them to the internal end of the device, which directly stimulates the cochlear nerve used for, “Cochlear Implant Surgery“, Accessed November 11, 2021 Your hearing tests and outpatient surgery for cochlear implants are covered by Medicare Part B when ordered by your, “Prosthetic devices“, Accessed November 11, 2021.

How Much Do Hearing Tests Cost?

Hearing test costs can vary depending on the area and what is done during the tests, ranging from $60 to $80 for standard hearing, “ARE AUDIOLOGISTS COVERED BY YOUR HEALTH INSURANCE POLICY?“, Accessed November 11, 2021. If you require hearing aids, these costs can shoot up dramatically to a range of $1,000 to $6,000, averaging about $2,500 per, “Cost of hearing aids: What to know“, Accessed November 11, 2021.

Medicare Part B will provide coverage for a hearing test if it is ordered by a doctor. However, it’s important to remember that Part B only pays 80 percent of the Medicare-approved amount for the covered service. If your doctor charges Excess Charges, you will pay those out-of-pocket unless you have a Medicare Advantage plan or a Medigap policy that covers Part B Excess Charges.

Medicare Advantage

In addition to covering the same services as Medicare Part A and Part B, Medicare Advantage plans can also provide you with expanded services that can include hearing care. However, your out-of-pocket costs with a Medicare Advantage plan may be different than those with Original Medicare. You will also be required to use in-network providers for all services, supplies, and durable medical equipment, which will not give you much room for, “How do Medicare Advantage Plans work?“, Accessed November 11, 2021

Medicare Supplements

People with Original Medicare can purchase Medicare supplement insurance to help cover their Medicare out-of-pocket costs. Medigap, as it is also known, is available through private insurance companies. While Medigap policies will not provide you with any expanded hearing coverage with Orginal Medicare, they will help with the out-of-pocket costs for the few necessary hearing services Medicare does cover. These costs, “What’s Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap)?“, Accessed November 11, 2021

  • Deductibles
  • Coinsurance
  • Copayments


Unfortunately, Medicare will not cover hearing tests unless you need a surgical implant or you are wobbling all over the place with frequent spells of vertigo. If you are experiencing severe hearing and/or balance conditions, consult with your doctor to get your ears checked. If you want your routine hearing tests to be covered by Medicare, you will need to check out Medicare Advantage plans with hearing care services in your area.


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