Cover Vision and Hearing Care
Lack of hearing coverage can increase the risk of dementia and contribute to social isolation, which can in turn heighten one’s risk for depression and chronic illness. Similarly, uncorrected vision acuity loss can also cause other, significant health issues and adversely affect quality of life. Despite these troubling—and costly—consequences, Medicare does not cover many routine vision or hearing care needs. While some Medicare Advantage (MA) plans may offer supplementary vision or audiology coverage, quality and cost vary considerably from plan to plan. The absence of meaningful coverage for these basic health needs represents a stark gap in coverage for older adults and people with disabilities. Congress should add standardized, high-quality, affordable vision and hearing benefits to Original Medicare and MA plans.