Medicaid Covers Viagra But Not Hearing Aids

December 12, 2011 in Uncategorized
Medicaid Covers Viagra, But Not Hearing Aids

By Courtny Gerrish, “Medicare Covers What?” TMJ4 Milwaukee, 11/17/11

Basic needs like having a cavity filled or getting glasses are not covered by Medicare.

But one thing it does cover could leave you scratching your head. In this case your tax dollars are going to cover “sexual needs” while the government denies coverage for routine health care.

Need a cavity filled? Medicare won’t cover it. A prosthetic hand? No money from Medicare. Need a hearing aid? Nope not covered, but a device that does for men mechanically what Viagra does for them medically, is.

Many senior citizens we talked to didn’t know about it and don’t approve. But approve or not, Medicare pays for it. Like the late night TV ad claims, the pump, used to treat erectile dysfunction, is covered by Medicare. 80% as long as you have a prescription. Something that miffs the lunch guests at the Hart Park Senior Center in Wauwatosa.

Mary Fassbender told us, “I think that should be lower on the list. There’s so many pressing things that we need.”

Like routine eye exams, hearing aids and dental care. Something the senior center’s director, Merry Johnson, hears about a lot. That and the future of Medicare. “Confusion. And not so much aggravation or anger or anything but what are we going to do about this?”

And as Delvin Gross points out many seniors are struggling. “I paid over $300 a month, and when you’re on a fixed income when you’re retired every penny counts.”

So why is this piece of equipment covered? According to a Medicare spokesman: “We cover the pump because the statute says we must cover things that are reasonable and necessary for diagnosis or treatment of an illness or injury. the same law says we cannot pay for glasses, hearing aids, or dentistry.”

For the full story: http://www.todaystmj4.com/features/specialassignment/134094963.html