Medicare/Medicaid

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Medicare/Medicaid

1965 Medicare and Medicaid were enacted as Title XVIII and Title XIX of the Social Security Act, extending health coverage to almost all Americans aged 65 or older (e.g., those receiving retirement benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board), and providing health care services to low-income children deprived of parental support, their caretaker relatives, the elderly, the blind, and individuals with disabilities. Seniors were the population group most likely to be living in poverty; about half had insurance coverage.

Medicare is the federal health plan for citizens 65 years of age and older and/or those with significant disabilities. Medicare reimbursement rates are determined at the federal level under the auspices of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Medicaid provides medical assistance for qualifying individuals with low incomes and few resources. Medicaid is funded jointly by State and Federal governments in order to provide States the ability to offer adequate medical care to those in need. Medicaid is run within broad federally mandated guidelines which allow states the flexibility to establish their own eligibility standards, determine the type, duration, and scope of services, and set the rate of payment for services. As a result, benefits and programs vary considerably from state to state.

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Medicaid Coverage of Hearing Aids

What is Medicaid?

Title XIX of the Social Security Act outlines a program to provide medical assistance for certain individuals with low incomes and few resources. The program, known widely as Medicaid, is federal law and is funded jointly by State and Federal governments in order to provide States the ability to offer adequate medical care to those in need. Medicaid is run within broad federally mandated guidelines which allow states the flexibility to establish their own eligibility standards, determine the type, duration, and scope of services, and set the rate of payment for services. As a result benefits and programs vary considerably from state to state.

This research details the coverage of hearing aids and related services under Medicaid programs in the fifty states. Hearing health services are optional under Federal guidelines for minimum coverage and as a result many states do not cover hearing health services for adults.

Children are covered by a federally mandated program referred to as EPSDT, (Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment program) which provides for hearing health services as well as other services for eligible children up to the age of 18 in all states, unless otherwise listed. Individuals interested in the Medicaid services should contact their state’s Medicaid office using the information provided in the database.


Medicaid Coverage for Hearing Aids State by State

April 2012

Compiled on the Medicaid Regulations page is the coverage of hearing aids and related services made available to eligible Medicaid recipients in each state. Since the states often make revisions to the scope of their Medicaid benefits, recipients are cautioned to check their state’s Medicaid offices for possible updated coverage.