Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy Announces Continued Medicare Coverage of Auditory Implants

Press Release

Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) today announced that Medicare will continue to provide coverage for Auditory Osseointegrated Implants (AOIs), reversing an earlier proposal what would have eliminated coverage for AOIs. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) had been urged by Congresswoman McCarthy and others in Congress to reconsider the rule change which would have classified AOIs as hearing aids and therefore not eligible for Medicare coverage. CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner released a statement finalizing that "certain auditory implants, including cochlear implants, brain stem implants, and osseointegrated implants, do not meet the definition of hearing aids that are excluded from coverage."

"I am pleased that the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services has dropped this effort to eliminate these vital AOIs from Medicare coverage. Thousands of people are currently using these types of devices and they depend on them for hearing. Without AOIs, many of these people would not be able to work or take part in everyday activities. Over 40,000 people have had these type of hearing implants since 2006 and 20% of those procedures were covered by Medicare," said Congresswoman McCarthy.

Congresswoman McCarthy was joined by Congressman Tom Latham (R-IA), Senator Dean Heller (R-NV), and Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) on letters to CMS on September 16th and October 2nd urging the agency to abandon the effort to remove AOIs from Medicare coverage.

Contact: Morgan Broman (202) 225-5516,