Questions about your appointment, insurance, or costs? Browse our FAQs below. If you don’t see the answer to your question here, please reach out to our Cleburne ENT clinic so we can help.
Do I need two hearing instruments?
We may hear with our ears, but we process with our brain. The brain is hardwired to expect information from both sides of the head. If you have hearing loss in both ears, two hearing instruments will almost always be the best choice. In fact, two instruments ensures your hearing will be less confusing. Why? When we are listening in challenging environments, the location where sound is coming from helps us process what is it. We mentally locate sounds in specific positions so we can focus on what’s most important. Sounds reach one ear fractionally faster and louder than the other and the brain registers these subtle differences. Having two hearing instruments allows the brain to use these naturally helpful cues. Using just one hearing aid, and neglecting the other ear with hearing loss, creates a negative impact by causing auditory deprivation. This prevents the brain and auditory nerve from receiving stimulation and can result in the auditory pathways deteriorating.
How much do hearing aids cost?
Hearing aids vary greatly in price based on their style, features, and local market prices. Price can range from $1,200 to $3,500 for a programmable, digital hearing aid. While price is an important factor in your purchase, it shouldn’t be the only one; consider product reliability, warranty, and customer service, too.
What will happen at my hearing aid fitting?
Our audiologist or a hearing aid specialist will help place the hearing aids in your ears. Then, while wearing them, verification and validation procedures will be performed to ensure they are fitted appropriately to your ear and hearing loss. Real ear measurements may also be done, which determine how much gain your hearing aids give you. Before you leave, you will receive instructions on how to properly care for and clean your hearing aids at home.
Should I start wearing my hearing aids full-time?
It is important to wear your hearing aids as much as possible to allow your brain to adjust to the new sounds that it has not heard in a long time. Report any questions or concerns at your follow-up appointment. Remember to be patient and allow yourself to get used to the aids and the “new” sounds they allow you to hear.
How long will it take to get used to my new hearing aids?
A hearing aid is an aid to better hearing, not a cure for hearing loss. Getting the most out of your new hearing aids means acquiring new skills. Hearing loss often occurs slowly so your brain becomes accustomed to the poor signal from your ears. Therefore, adjusting to a new signal from your hearing instruments also takes time. In the first week with your new hearing instruments, you’ll be listening to the strange (often loud) new sounds around you — including your own voice. Your audiologist will adjust the hearing aids to be comfortable and over the first several weeks you will work together to create the best sound possible.
What is your payment policy for hearing aids?
To file a claim for your hearing aid, your insurance states that services must be rendered. This means your hearing device must be dispensed to you before you leave the office. This is because we are unable to file a claim before we have dispensed your devices. Because of the out-of-pocket costs needed to order and dispense the hearing aids, you will have to pay for the devices in full at the time of the fitting. Then we will file your insurance the following business day, and you will be notified of your insurance carrier’s payment once we have received it. You will then receive a reimbursement check for the amount of your payment covered by your insurance.
How long will it take for my insurance to pay?
We file all of our claims electronically unless your carrier does not have the ability to accept electronic filing. Once we file the claim, most carriers have up to 30-45 days to receive and process the claim for payment. In our experience, the turnaround is usually much less than 30 days. Many of our patients get their reimbursements checks within that time period.
What if I don’t have an insurance benefit for hearing aids?
We want to help you! During your hearing device consultation, a member of our audiology team will help figure out the best level of technology for you, within your budget. We can also find the right payment option that fits your financial situation.
What forms of payment can I use?
Here is a list of payment options that we accept:
- Cash/Personal Check
- Visa/Mastercard/Discover (Please note: we do not accept American Express)
- Care Credit*
- Healthiplan Financing*
*Subject to credit approval. If the patient is not the one financing the devices, then the individual applying must be present at the time of application as well as when the devices are fit and charges are obtained. Proof of identification will be required.
Will my health insurance cover my hearing aids?
In order to determine if your health insurance can cover your hearing aids, you will have to check your individual plan. You can do this by calling the toll-free number for member services that is listed on most insurance cards. Even if you have a benefit, insurance coverage for hearing aids varies in the way it is administered. Here are some real-life benefit types for hearing aids:
A health plan may pay a specific amount towards the purchase of aids, such as $500 or $1,000. This amount may be applied to the entire hearing aid purchase (whether one aid or two aids are purchased), or the amount may be allowed per ear. The benefit may renew after a given number of years, usually 3 to 5.
A health plan may give you an allowance toward hearing aids if you purchase from a contracted provider. An allowance is a specified amount that is subtracted from the total purchase price. For example, if the cost of a pair of instruments is $4,000 and your health plan has a $1,500 allowance, your out-of-pocket cost would be $2,500. This benefit may also renew every few years.
Even if you have a “dollar amount” benefit stated in your policy, some policies will still subject that benefit to your individual and/or family deductible and out of pocket costs first, so that may need to be taken into consideration as well.
We know that interpreting your individual policy can be confusing. We want to do what we can to make it less confusing. We are happy to obtain a quote of benefits from your insurance company on your behalf prior to your consultation with our audiology team, but it will only be an estimate of your benefits. This does not guarantee payment by your insurance carrier because insurance payments may be subject to certain terms and conditions from your insurance plan. Payment will not be fully determined until the claim is received and is processed by your insurance carrier. This is an agreement between you and your insurance. Every policy is unique, and we will do whatever we can to help you fully understand yours.
What insurance policies do you accept for hearing aids?
Benke Ear, Nose and Throat is contracted with most major insurance carriers for medical office visits and audiology services that determine hearing loss and medical treatment for related conditions. However, some carriers require a specific contract for hearing aids that requires payment to go directly to the provider. Here are the insurance plans we are contracted with for hearing aids:
- Blue Cross/Blue Shields
- United Healthcare
- Select Medicare replacement plans, such as Humana Medicare Advantage and United Healthcare Medicare Advantage
Medicare and Railroad Medicare do not cover hearing aids.
Call Benke Ear, Nose & Throat Clinic at (817) 641-3750 for more information or to schedule an appointment.