As providers of hearing healthcare, we?re often asked about health insurance coverage, particularly Medicare Advantage plans.
When you become eligible for Medicare, you have a couple of options for healthcare coverage: you can opt in to standard Medicare along with any supplements you may need for extra coverage, or you can get a Medicare Advantage plan. Advantage plans are designed to be all-inclusive, with coverage for different types of healthcare you may need. That can include hearing care. Sounds great, right?
The Disadvantages of Medicare Advantage
The fact is, Medicare Advantage is a little more complicated than that. Specialty portions of Medicare Advantage plans, including hearing care, are run by third-party companies. These companies compensate providers for only the bare minimum of services.
What does that mean for you, though? Basically, if you go to an audiologist who accepts your Medicare Advantage Plan, they are limited in the services which they can provide. While it may help your wallet (in the short term), it doesn?t necessarily help your ears. Services are limited and best practices are often not followed. This doesn?t sit well with us.
At The Hill Hear Better Clinic, we create a holistic treatment plan for your unique needs. We use best practices and the latest technology to offer a high level of service and care. Our audiologists often spend six to eight hours with each patient addressing their needs and finding solutions that are right for them. Medicare Advantage plans don?t allow us to provide this level of care.
We have two choices: do we accept Medicare Advantage Plans and drastically reduce the care we provide, or do we forgo those plans and continue to offer the high-quality care using the latest technology and best practices? It becomes a simple game of quantity versus quality. Because we aren’t willing to compromise on the care we provide each patient, we are limiting our acceptance of Medicare Advantage plans.
The Bottom Line
Medicare Advantage sounds good on the surface. Hearing care covered by Medicare seems like a good thing, but in reality it’s severely limiting the quality of care you’ll receive.