WASHINGTON — Maryland’s Medicaid program will now cover hearing aids for all adults under a rewrite of state regulations. Previously, the health insurance program for low-income Marylanders only covered medically necessary hearing aids for children and young adults under 21.
“Our office received calls asking for financial assistance to help cover the cost of hearing aids due to the high out-of-pocket costs and the lack of coverage through Maryland Medicaid, so we worked with the Department of Health to address this significant gap,” said Kelby Brick, director of the governor’s Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. “The Hogan administration’s expansion of Maryland Medicaid coverage for adults provides tremendous financial relief for thousands of eligible Marylanders in need of these vital services.”
The change was made official last July, and the state finalized regulations in October. Brick’s office promoted the change in a Jan. 9 news release, noting that new health insurance plans went into effect at the start of the year.
The new coverage applies to medically necessary hearing aids, cochlear implants, and auditory osseointegrated devices.
In order to qualify, Marylanders need to contact their primary care physician for a referral to an audiologist to complete an assessment.
The move was advocated for years by the group, Disability Rights Maryland, which argued that Medicaid coverage of hearing aids only for children was discriminatory.
There are about 1.2 million deaf and hard of hearing Maryland residents, according to Department of Health Secretary Robert R. Neall.