Medicare Advantage Puzzle

Well…I’ve been away for some time…used to lurk here every day from 2012
thru 2014 when I first got my new thing Oticon Agil pros; anyway today at
my Audiologist for a cleaning I was told that Epic now partners with Oticon
thru my Medicare Advantage Insurance and can provide me a brand new
replacement for my failing right HA for $400…now mind you I paid about
$3500 once upon a time for this critter…so the skeptic in me thinks this
is a technological knockoff…medicare rarely helps with HAs that will help
someone like me with severe loss…can anyone in here cast some light on
how this can be?? Have things changed so radically insurance wise in the
few years that I’v been gone?

It’s all dependent on the specific insurance plan. Medicare per se offers nothing for hearing aids, but a Medicare Advantage plan or a supplemental plan may. You need to check with your insurance company or ideally scrutinize plan documents.


My Medicare Advantage plan pays $400.00 every two years for hearing aids. I bought from Costco in August 2018, sent a copy of invoice and audiogram and and received a check back in two months.

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Thanx for your reply; what was the total cost of your aids from
Costco and what aids did you purchase if you please? This
is the crux of my confusion…did $400 get you state-of-the-art
aids from Oticon or Starkey or Widex?

Costco does not carry Oticon, Starkey or Widex. Their least expensive hearing aid is the Kirkland Signature 9.0 which is similar to Phonak Marvel. Their price is $1499.

To follow-up on MDB’s post, here’s what Abram Bailey posted on KS9 vs. Marvel. According to Abram, KS9 won’t be state-of-the-art Marvel 2.0 (whatever that is) but is great tech for the money:

I got the Costco ReSound Forte 8 which is the ReSound Linx 3D for $2700.00 total, no tax on medical devices in California. I did pay $2300.00 out of pocket. The Forte is no longer at Costco, replaced by the Vida and Preza, not sure the costs on those. Many here are very pleased with the Costco KS 9 hearing aids, just recently released.

I shopped Widex, Starkey, and Oticon at three different audiology clinics, prices $6400.00 to $7950.00, but received mediocre to poor to truly awful information and my asking questions at all those clinics. Even though I paid $2300.00 that was less than half of what non-Costco hearing aids would have cost, and I was willing to pay that at the start, until the poor information provided put me off.

My Costco experience was 10x better with a fitter with 20+ years experience, wears HAs since birth himself, answered all my questions, and was very open to discussing my lifestyle and what I hoped to accomplish wearing HAs, very honest with telling me some of my hopes just would not be possible at the current time, given the state of current hearing aid abilities.

Costco will be my first choice from here on out, unless my hearing changes to the point they can no longer fit me, but I do not see that happening.


My Medicare Advantage Plans pays $1000.00 every two years. I curremtly wear Oticon Dynamo’s. Cost was $4000.00 in 2018.

The Preza was $2779 including new custom molds just 2 weeks ago, mid-July 2019. They are fantastic, as was my fitter. He was a HA repairman for years, has been in the business for 30+ years, a fitter for something like 14 years I think he said. He works magic setting up new aids.

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Thanx everyone for your detailed replies; I knew I could
count on this forum for the correct info; I’m going to
give my new audiologist the benefit of the doubt that she
just didn’t understand my Medicare Advantage benefit;
will this new law passed by Congress to allow OTC
hearing aids in 2020 materially affect hearing aids for
the masses at reasonable prices?? Seems like the fitting and
programming the devices is still where the monopoly lies
in the sale and distribution of these devices…please don’t misread
me…I know companies like Oticon spend millions on R&D …
someone has to pay if we want to continually have better & better
hearing aids

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It would be helpful, if permitted ,for folks to mention which Medicare Advantage plans offer HA benefits. I’ve been looking but not finding a benefit I can use anywhere. One did but the increased monthly premium (just for 1 year) was about the HA benefit (limited to once every 3 years) so that over 3 years I would have paid about 3x the benefit I received.


That has been my findings also, for you receive you pay through the nose for.

(I guess if they (Medicare) offers the redo 3 month option I could sign-up, get aids and change to a an inexpensive plan sufficient for my other medical needs.

My Medicare Advantage is Golden State Medicare Health Plan, only in a few counties in California.

I will be getting on Medicare next year. I had hoped to find something that would support hearing aids. From this thread it looks like I will continue with DIY aids.

I see a Blue Shield 65 Plus (HMO), and two AARP Medicare Complete Secure Horizons listed that offer partial HA payments. That most likely depends on my coastal California location. You should be able to search plans on the web site.


My Medicare Advantage plan is thru Humana. My premiums went up a few dollars
between 2018 & 2019, but nowhere near the benefit I receive for the aids.

This Medicare Advantage, how much does it cost?

Mine is no additional cost over what Medicare always deducted from my monthly Social Security check.

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Neither is mine but it doesn’t cover hearing aids or dental or eye exams

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