American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Medicare

In 1965, the Social Security Act established both Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare is the federal health insurance program that is designated for those people who are 65+ years of age. Although directed towards a specific age bracket, Medicare plans are also applicable to certain disabled people.

Medicare covers most services for assessing and treating speech, language, swallowing, hearing and balance disorders. It covers most hearing examinations but it does not cover hearing aids or tests for hearing aids.

Medicare has two major parts: Part A is hospital insurance and is financed through federal taxes while Part B is supplementary medical insurance and has a monthly premium.

Medicare Part A helps cover hospital stays, limited skilled nursing facility care when daily skilled services are needed, home health care and hospice care. Most services for speech, language, hearing and related disorders such as those effecting swallowing and balance are covered in these settings. Medicare regulations allow rehabilitation services when significant functional progress is expected and/or maintenance care is needed.

Medicare Part B helps cover physician services, audiology testing services, outpatient hospital services, rehabilitation agency services and comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation facility services. Service for speech and related disorders are covered in these settings.

More information is available on the federal government's web site: http://www.medicare.gov/

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