Hearing aid

Does health insurance cover hearing aids?

Compare hearing aid and audiology benefits offered by Australian insurers.

An unfortunate fact of life is that as we get older our bodies start to let us down, with loss of hearing being a common ailment. Private health insurance and Medicare both provide some level of cover for some of the costs associated with the following treatments and appliances.

  • Hearing aids. Hearing aids are devices that restore or improve your ability to hear.
  • Audiology. Audiology is how conditions are diagnosed and assessed on an ongoing basis.

Keep reading to find out how private health insurance covers hearing aids and what other policy benefits are included.

Compare health funds with cover for hearing aids

Which Australian health funds include cover for hearing aids?

Health fundExtras policies and annual benefit limits*Waiting periods
HIF health insurance
    • Premium Options. $600 per person 
  • Super Options.  $500 per person 
  • 36 months
health.com.au health insurance
    • High 85%. $500 per person
  • High 75%. $400 per person 
  • High 65%. $300 per person 
  • 12 months
Health Care Insurance
  • Premier Extras. $3,320 per person 
  • 24 months
teachers health fund
  • Restricted health fund 
  • Top Extras. $300 per person
  • 12 months
CBHS Health Fund
  • Restricted health fund 
  • Top Extras. $1,600 per person 
  • 12 months
AHM health insurance
  • Super Extras. $1,600 per person 
  • Family Extras. $1,200 per person 
  • 12 months
Australian Unity
  • Platinum 80% Extras. $600 per person 
  • Gold Extras. $550 per person 
  • 12 months
GMHBA health insurance
  • Gold Extras. $1,500 per person 
  • Silver Extras. $1,200 per person 
  • 12 months
HCF health insurance
  • Platinum Extras. $800 per person 
  • Gold Extras. $600 per person 
  • 24 months
nib health insurance
  • Top Extras. $1,200 per person 
  • Core Young At Heart Extras. $500 per person 
  • 36 months
Transport Health insurance
  • Top Extras. $1,000 per person 
  • 24 months

*The policies listed in this table are extras only. However, in most cases these can be combined with hospital cover.

Health fundExtras policies and annual benefit limits*Waiting periods
ahm
  • Super Extras. $1,600 per person 
  • Family Extras. $1,200 per person 
  • 12 months
Australian Unity
  • Platinum 80% Extras. $600 per person 
  • Gold Extras. $550 per person 
  • 12 months
Budget Direct
  • Established Family Package. $600 per person 
  • Family Value Package. $600 per person 
  • New Family Package. $600 per person 
  • Freedom Package. $400 per person
  • 12 months
Bupa
  • Platinum Extras. $1,200 per person 
  • Gold Extras. $1,000 per person 
  • Silver Extras. $800 per person 
  • 12 months
Cessnock District Health Fund
  • Gold Extras. $750 per person 
  • Silver Extras. $750 per person 
  • 36 months
CUA Health
  • Total Extras. $800 per person 
  • Classic Extras. $600 per person 
  • 12 months
GMF
  • Complete Extras. $860 per person 
  • Mid Extras. $750 per person 
  • 24 months
GMHBA
  • Gold Extras. $1,500 per person 
  • Silver Extras. $1,200 per person 
  • 12 months
HBF
  • Flexi Extras Plus. $1,000 per person
  • Flexi Extras Mid. $800 per person 
  • Flexi Extras. $600 per person 
  • 12 months
HCF
  • Platinum Extras. $800 per person 
  • Gold Extras. $600 per person 
  • 24 months
Health Care Insurance
  • Premier Extras. $3,320 per person 
  • 24 months
health.com.au
    • High 85%. $500 per person
  • High 75%. $400 per person 
  • High 65%. $300 per person 
  • 12 months
hif
    • Premium Options. $600 per person 
  • Super Options.  $500 per person 
  • 36 months
Latrobe Health Services
  • Premier Gold, Family Care Gold. $1,000 per person 
  • Premier Silver. $650 per person 
  • Premier, Premier Plus. $500 per person 
  • 12 months
Medibank
  • Top Extras. $400 per person 
  • 36 months
Mildura Health Fund
  • Five Star Extras. $1,000 per person 
  • Ancillary Plus. $700 per person 
  • Basic Ancillary. $450 per person 
  • 36 months
nib
  • Top Extras. $1,200 per person 
  • Core Young At Heart Extras. $500 per person 
  • 36 months
onemedifund
  • Extras Plus. $1,500 per person 
  • 24 months
Peoplecare
  • Premium Extras. $1,500 per person 
  • High Extras. $1,000 per person 
  • 24 months
Phoenix Health Fund
  • Top Extras. $900 per person
  • 12 months
Transport Health
  • Top Extras. $1,000 per person 
  • 24 months
Westfund
  • Platinum Extras. $1,000 per person
  • Gold Extras. $800 
  • 60 months
ACA Health
  • Restricted health fund 
  • Complete Ancillary. $1,500 per person 
  • 12 months
CBHS health fund
  • Restricted health fund 
  • Top Extras. $1,600 per person
  • 12 months
Defence Health
  • Restricted health fund
  • Premier Extras. $1,500 per person
  • Value Extras. $1,000 per person 
  • 12 months
Doctors Health Fund
  • Restricted health fund 
  • Total Extras. $800 per person
  • Essential Extras. $200 per person 
  • 24 months
Navy Health
  • Restricted health fund
  • Premium Extras. $1,300 per person 
  • Healthy Living Extras. $900 per person 
  • 12 months
Police Health
  • Restricted health fund
  • SureCover Extras. $1,200 per person
  • 12 months
Reserve Bank Health Society
  • Restricted health fund
  • Extras Cover. $5,440 per person 
  • 12 months
RT Health
  • Restricted health fund 
  • Premium Extras. $1,200 per person 
  • Smart Extras. $900 per person 
  • 24 months
Teachers Health Fund
  • Restricted health fund 
  • Top Extras. $300 per person
  • 12 months
TUH
  • Restricted health fund 
  • Comprehensive Extras. $200 per person 
  • 12 months

*The majority of the policies listed in this table are extras only. However, in most cases these can be combined with hospital cover.

Contact an adviser for a quote or health insurance assistance

How does private health insurance cover hearing aids and audiology?

Many private health insurance funds will include hearing aids and audiology on their policies. However, these services are typically only covered by comprehensive extras.

Private health insurance and hearing aids

  • Hearing aids are typically only covered by the highest level extras policies.
  • Policies will typically pay a set cost, rather than cash-back rebates. This is because the cost of hearing aids can vary widely.
  • Private health insurance generally pays out for a single device. However, most funds have a specified limit for how many times you can claim, such as one device every five years.
  • Some health funds offer benefits for repairing damaged hearing aids.

Health insurance benefits for audiology

  • Benefits will either take the form of cash-back offers, where you get a certain percentage of costs paid, typically 60-100%, or set costs such as $35 for each audiology session.
  • Initial audiology consultations and diagnoses usually take longer than subsequent follow-up sessions. As such, set cost policies generally pay more for initial sessions and less for follow-ups.

Should I get private health insurance for hearing aids?

Hearing aids are typically only covered by the more comprehensive and high level extras health insurance policies. This means you will be paying for many benefits in addition to hearing aids, whether you want to or not.

As such, you should not get private health insurance just for hearing aids and audiology. However, you might want to get private health insurance for all the other benefits it offers, on top of audiology and hearing aids.

If you use a hearing aid, then look at how it is covered by private health funds when comparing policies, but remember to look at all the other costs and benefits as well. The level of audiology and hearing aid cover should be an important factor in making your choice, but so too are all the other features included in the policy.

Does Medicare cover hearing aids or audiology?

Medicare doesn’t cover any of the costs of a hearing aid device. It will only cover some of the prior surgical procedures required for a specific type of hearing aid (bone conduction) if you are unable to use a conventional hearing aid, but won’t cover the cost of the device itself.

What should I be aware of when comparing health insurance?

When comparing health insurance cover of audiology and hearing aids you should be aware of.

  • Limits. These refer to the maximum amounts that can be claimed. Audiology might have its own limits, or it might share limits with hearing aids or other diagnostic services. Meanwhile, hearing aids usually have their own specific limits, but will in some cases share limits with audiology, or with other implants and devices.
  • Conditions and exclusions. These are conditions and restrictions where health insurance will not pay out. There are typically very few, or no, restrictions surrounding hearing aids. Audiology services, however, will generally need to be provided by a licensed and recognised audiologist and for the fulfilment of clear diagnostic purposes. You typically can’t claim audiology if it is done for the purpose of irregular assessment, such as checking occupational fitness for a job that requires good hearing.
  • Waiting periods. This is how long you must wait between taking out a policy and being able to make a claim. For hearing aids this will typically be 12 months, while audiological waiting periods can vary from a couple of months to a full year, and may even be nonexistent.
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Andrew Munro

Andrew writes for finder.com.au, comparing products, writing guides, sniffing out deals and looking for new ways to help people get the most out of their money.

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