Often but I am not sure if it covers the hitch. Google the hitch part number and you can get prices from several Subaru dealers selling parts. Or find where the other and much cooler Robert posted the prices from the dealer near him.
So, a number of my fellow Ascent owners know I am adamant about the benefits of the OEM hitch vs the other inferior solutions. I even go into varying levels of detail explaining why in numerous posts. Well, some of you have let me know that it's a bit expensive where you all are. I am working...
When I was buying genuine Subaru accessories for my 2010 Forester, there was a guy on the Forester forum who was able to get any Subaru accessory for around 30% less than anyone else advertised. At first, I thought he was selling hot merchandise, but he could get any accessory you wanted at any time and when you purchased from him, he would give you his name and address. This went on for many years and almost everyone there was buying Subaru accessories from him.
He claimed that there was a huge markup on Subaru accessories and that dealers could not sell them for much under the MSRP. How he was able to I never found out. He no longer sells accessories as far as I know, but it was great while it lasted.