Does LEOFF Plan 1 Insurance Cover Hearing Aids?

LEOFF Insurance Benefits - Inland Hearing Aids
Have you been confused trying to figure out if your Law Enforcement Officers’ and Fire Fighters’ Retirement System (LEOFF) Plan 1 insurance plan covers you for hearing aids?

If so, then you’re in the right place.

LEOFF Plan 1 is offered by the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems.

In this article, we’ll talk you through what your LEOFF 1 insurance plan includes when it comes to hearing healthcare and what your options are going forward.

By Default, Hearing Aids Are Not Covered By Insurance

In most states, standard insurance plans don’t typically cover the cost of hearing aids, which comes down to the fact that insurance companies generally view hearing aids as elective and not mandatory.

This truly baffles hearing care professionals, as we know just how debilitating life can be when living with a hearing loss. Since hearing aids are medical devices that can change the lives of millions of people, you’d be right in thinking it’s pretty unfair that something so vital to the quality of one’s life would not be included in insurance plans by default.

However, 23 states require hearing aids to be covered in insurance plans (not Washington), although most of them only cover children. Some states have an odd rule that insists insurance companies include the cost of a hearing test, but this coverage does not extend to hearing aids.

Check Your Insurance Benefits At Inland Hearing Aids

Does Medicare Cover The Cost Of Hearing Aids?

Around a third of individuals in the US between ages 65 and 74 have some level of hearing loss. What’s more, half of those over the age of 75 have a hearing loss, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD).

These age ranges indicate that most people who could benefit from hearing aids are also eligible for Medicare coverage.

The bad news is that Medicare does not cover hearing aids or hearing care, leaving many dependent on the program without the means to invest in hearing aids.

Fortunately, many insurance companies provide Medicare supplement plans to help cover costs that Medicare does not.

LEOFF 1 might provide supplemental hearing care coverage in your locality.

What Does LEOFF 1 Offer In Terms Of Hearing Care Coverage?

Individual local disability boards administer the LEOFF 1 medical plan. There is no single set of terms or conditions of what is covered. As such, your local board might deem hearing care costs as unnecessary.

Hearing care is not included in the list of minimum services that must be covered by all WA disability boards. But your local LEOFF 1 board might well cover most costs.

Most LEOFF 1 employers have joined a medical plan to provide reasonable coverage to their past employees. Other employers obtain coverage through union health and welfare plans, individual insurance providers, or self-insurance.

Hearing loss cost claims usually go through the disability benefit claims process.

Ask your local LEOFF 1 board if any of the following are covered:

  • A hearing exam by a state-certified audiologist or ENT specialist.
  • Hearing aids and hearing aid care – up to how much per ear, and how long is the period for this benefit?
  • Must the cost include a warranty for loss, damage, or maintenance (including batteries)? How long must this warranty last for?
  • Do benefits change if the hearing aid replacement is duty-related or if hearing aids are damaged on the job?
  • Are hearing benefit amounts reduced by any amount if you are also eligible for Social Security, Medicare, insurance provided by the City or another employer, a pension plan, or another similar source?

Still Unsure? The Insurance Experts At Inland Hearing Can Help

Hearing aids provide a unique opportunity to continue living an independent and rewarding lifestyle without skipping a beat.

We want our patients to experience the incredible benefits hearing aids provide, so Inland Hearing goes the extra mile to help you get the financial help you need for your hearing aid investment.

Our insurance experts know exactly how to navigate and communicate with insurance companies, such as LEOFF 1, to determine the level of benefits included in your coverage.

Submit our insurance coverage form to learn more about your benefits, or call us at your local office by clicking here.

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Dan Morehouse, HIS

As a hearing instrument specialist and owner of Inland Hearing Aids, Inc., Dan Morehouse has spent more than 20 years earning the trust of physicians, community organizations, and thousands of residents through providing top-level hearing care to Moses Lake and nearby communities.

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