Florida: Getting a hearing test & buying hearing aids

Ah, the Sunshine State. With its constant heat, beautiful beaches, and Disneyland, no one could blame you for wanting to settle down here. And with it being home to the only county where most citizens are above 65, you might be wondering if their healthcare is primed to help each and every one of them.

20.5% of people in Florida are aged 65 and over
Source: www.hhs.texas.gov/services/disability/deaf-hard-hearing/deaf-hard-hearing-faqs

That’s why we’ve created an article to fully go over all the different options you have when it comes to your Floridian aural healthcare.

How many test centers are in Florida?

Florida is jam-packed with hearing services. There are over 250 audiologists throughout Florida, and an additional 250 hearing aid centers, so if you live anywhere near any kind of city or town, you won’t have to worry about hours of driving just to get a hearing test.

Obviously you’ll have a better chance of being near a hearing specialist if you live in a city, but you won’t have to look very far to find a qualified hearing healthcare professional.

Cities with the best hearing healthcare

We've looked at the largest cities in Florida to understand how well covered the residents are, comparing the population size with the number of hearing aid centers and audiologists based there.

CityPopulationAudiologists & Hearing Aid CentersCenters per 100,000
Jacksonville903,889505.5
Miami470,914367.6
Tampa392,890328.1
Orlando285,7133512.3

Source: https://www.florida-demographics.com/cities_by_population
Source: https://www.usahearingcenters.com/search-hearing-loss-by-city.html

Orlando, one of Florida’s largest cities, has the highest number of audiologist/hearing centers by population at 12.3 per 100,000 people. 

Jacksonville comes out with the lowest, with 5.5 per 100,000 people. One of the reasons it has such a low percentage is because of the city’s large population.

What government support do I have?

For a full rundown of your Medicaid options, you can look through your options on this webpage. If you’re a part of Medicaid, you may very well be eligible for some hearing aid services.

If you have severe or profound hearing loss, you may be a candidate for a cochlear implant, which is often covered by insurance. If you have a conductive hearing loss or single-sided deafness, you may be a candidate for a bone-conduction hearing device which is also often covered by insurance.

“It is best to contact your insurance plan prior to seeing an Audiologist so you know what your benefits are going into the appointment.” – Lindsay Banks Au.D.

However, if you’re between the ages of 18 and 65, Medicaid won’t cover you – as it’s only intended for the elderly or those with a disability. If you’re between these ages and are worried about your future hearing, your best course of action is private insurance.

Hearing aids are not covered under the ACA in Florida.

Is there a hearing aid trial period?

In Florida, providers must allow a thirty-day trial period so the user can determine if they're satisfied with their hearing aid. If the hearing aid is repaired, remade or adjusted in this time then the trial will be suspended by 1 day for every 24 hours the purchaser isn’t in possession of the hearing aid.

The seller should refund the full fee if the hearing aid has been returned (or has been attempted to be returned) in the 30-day period.

Fees for returning hearing aids

The licensee may not charge a cancellation fee which exceeds 5% of the total charge for a hearing aid alone.

Insurance options

Despite the population of hearing loss sufferers, Florida doesn’t have the most helpful insurance schemes. And by that we mean that, depending on your provider, you might be pretty much on your own when it comes to hearing aids.

For example, BCBS doesn’t offer any coverage for hearing aids, so you might be relying entirely on government assistance, which is exclusively for low income patients. There are obviously dozens of medical insurance providers however, and if you’re under the aegis of another provider, it’s always worth checking your policy to see if you can benefit.

What support do my children have?

Just like the section above, your children will be comfortably covered under Medicaid, (technically they fall under the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP), which is a division of Medicaid), should their condition require enough action.

Early detection and intervention of hearing loss is very important for the speech and language development of a child.

“Early detection and intervention of hearing loss is very important for the speech and language development of a child. Every effort should be made to get the child the hearing assistance they need as quickly as possible.” – Lindsay Banks Au.D.

What doctoral programs are available in Florida?

If you're looking for somewhere to study the field of audiology in Florida, there are three universities with listed audiology courses. These are:

  • Nova Southeastern University
  • University of Florida
  • University of South Florida

Support for military veterans

Hearing healthcare support for veterans is nationwide, with 170 centers across the country.  There are 6 in Florida, so you’ll be able to find coverage in the Sunshine State.

Our guide on VA hearing aids goes into more detail about the support you have available.

How can I get my hearing tested?

A hearing test is the first step towards better hearing health, and you can get tested for free in your local area by filling in this form. You'll see a qualified hearing consultant who will run a series of tests to determine if you have any hearing loss, and if you do, show you the best options moving forward.

To find out more on what to expect from a hearing test, check out our guide that goes into more detail. It’ll tell you what to bring with you and how long a hearing test might take.

Overall

Florida is full to the brim with healthcare options for the young and mature alike. There’s a high number of audiologists for the population size, there are three universities to study at, and the state mandates a hearing aid provider must give you a trial period so you’re in good hands if you need a hearing aid.

Duncan Lambden

Duncan Lambden

Writer

Duncan is an Australian-born American-raised creative writer with a passion for healthy ears. He continues to build upon his audiology qualifications with research and various courses. Duncan has been working alongside Florida-based audiologist Lindsey Banks, Au.D., to make sure that Clear Living has the most up-to-date content.

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