Getting Assistance to Pay for Hearing Aids
Did you know untreated hearing loss can cause social isolation, depression, and an increased risk of falling? It can even contribute to cognitive decline.
Fortunately, with financial assistance, more people can get hearing treatment.
In this article, we review the most popular hearing aid assistance programs and options.
Why Get Hearing Aid Assistance?
According to a study, only 20% of people needing hearing loss treatment seek help.
Some seniors feel embarrassed or ashamed of hearing loss. In other cases, older folks with hearing loss avoid discussing the issue altogether.
With financial assistance, seniors can enjoy the benefits of hearing aids. This means better communication with family members and friends and a greater sense of independence.
While asking for help may be difficult, understanding your options doesn’t need to be scary.
Understanding Your Options
Over 48 million Americans suffer from hearing loss. Unsurprisingly, around one-third of those people are seniors over 65. Luckily, seniors have access to various hearing aid assistance resources.
Are you a veteran who suffers from hearing loss? If you are, you may be eligible for hearing aid assistance through the Department of Veterans Affairs.
To qualify, you must have hearing loss due to your service. If you meet the criteria, you can access free hearing aids and services.
Benefits range from free hearing aids to free repairs, batteries, and accessories. Importantly, vets may need to do a few things before receiving benefits.
Some requirements, such as a hearing exam and income evaluations, may require recipients to qualify for benefits.
Medicare provides coverage for certain hearing aid services. Coverage is dependent on the type of plan you have.
Medicare Part B covers some diagnostic and preventative hearing services. These include hearing tests and hearing aid fittings. However, it does not cover the cost of the device itself.
Depending on where you live, Medicaid may provide coverage for hearing aid services. Eligibility requirements and services vary from state to state, so it’s essential to check the Medicaid coverage of hearing aids based on your locality.
Because Medicaid is a joint program between state and federal governments, there can be changes depending on where in the country you live.
Lions Clubs International
As a nonprofit organization, Lions Clubs International provides hearing aid assistance to seniors who need it.
Through their Affordable Hearing Aid Program (AHAP), they offer free or discounted high-quality hearing aids to those in need.
Aside from looking for a Lions Clubs International office, you can ask your doctor if they work with the organization. Even if they don’t, they may know of participating chapters in your area.
Starkey Foundation is another nonprofit organization and manufacturer. Through their Hear Now Program, they offer free hearing aids and services. Hearing assistance is available to those who otherwise would not be able to afford hearing aids.
To qualify, applicants must have an income at or below 250% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. In addition, they must be 18 or older.
If you’re looking for yourself or someone you know, the Starkey Foundation can still be a great resource. Contact your local Starkey Foundation office to learn how they can help you.
Audient is an organization that unites healthcare professionals, providers, and related groups. They offer free hearing tests, counseling, and advanced hearing aids.
Other resources include local clinics and government-funded programs that provide discounts on hearing aid services. If you want to check the qualifications for this program, you can visit their website.
New Jersey’s Hearing Aid Project
Do you live in NJ? If you do, you’re in luck!
The Department of Human Services of New Jersey has a hearing aid project for seniors. Seniors can access free refurbished hearing aids, fitting services, and follow-up care. To qualify, you must be over 65 and unable to afford treatment.
Other states have similar programs in place. Visit the official site of the New Jersey government to learn how to apply.
Through an Audiologist or Online Hearing Center
Finding an audiologist or online hearing center is a great way to get the hearing aid assistance you need. Online and local clinics have domain experts who can help you out.
Professionals and product specialists often have in-depth knowledge about the support available to individuals with hearing loss. Some are even associated with a specific hearing aid foundation or assistance program. Be sure to do your research and ask about financial assistance so you can get the help you need.
Interested in learning more about hearing aids and related topics?
Visit Audicus’ Education Center and choose from our articles.