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DEC

Posted on Wednesday, December 21, 2011

How to Find Hearing Aid Funding

Hand holding money that can be saved finding hearing aid funding

The main reason people give for not investing in hearing aids or upgrading their current hearing aids is price. Ignoring the facts that untreated hearing loss costs the average person 12,000 a year, and that people who use hearing aids are shown to generate more income, most people are forced to look at the initial outlay and not the long term benefits.

According to a study done by the Better Hearing Institute these decisions have repercussions for the country as a whole. The study titled The Impact of Untreated Hearing Loss on American Income says, “….the impact of untreated hearing loss is quantified to be in excess of $100 billion annually.”

Parents of children with hearing loss also have to make the financial choice not to purchase hearing aids even though children with untreated hearing loss have more self-esteem issues, social problems, and depression. A study published in the International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, showed that “70,000 students, ages 6-21, received special education services, due to their hearing loss.” Obviously, the price is being paid by the child, government, and by society, so why isn’t there more hearing aid funding options or tax breaks?

There is a myth around hearing that suggests correcting hearing loss is not necessary to live a fully engaged life.

Untreated, “hearing loss has been shown to negatively impact nearly every dimension of the human experience including: physical health, emotional and mental health, perceptions of mental acuity, social skills, family relationships, self-esteem not to mention work and school performance.” Hearing has somehow lost out in the healthcare initiatives despite these facts and studies like the one conducted by Henry Ford Health System and reported on by Science Daily, that showed, “Patients who had full coverage for hearing aids obtained them about seven years earlier and with better hearing than the other two groups.”

The gap in health care surrounding hearing and improved hearing is being challenged.

A current proposal being widely supported in American government seeks a tax break for individuals purchasing hearing aids. This tax credit would provide up to a thousand dollars to those who are struggling with the costs. If you’d like to support the measure click on TAX CREDIT LINK to take action now!

For those seeking help with hearing aid costs today, there are state health insurance mandates for hearing loss and financial assistance programs and associations that have been outlined by Hearing Loss Association of America. You might not know it, but flexible benefit plans can also be used to pay for hearing aids and there are various federal funding and government benefits available.

A child who corrects hearing loss is more likely to be successful in school, have better self-esteem, and feel less isolated.

Parents of children with hearing loss, even hearing loss in only one ear, need to take this condition seriously, as it impacts the whole of the child's life and education. If you are a parent of a child with hearing loss, there are many different resources to help pay for your child’s hearing instruments including the HIKE fund, Disabled Children's Relief Fund, Foundation for Sight and Sound, and Easter Seals.

Check your insurance’s limitations and exclusions to see what they cover for hearing health.

Many insurance companies cover at least the cost of a visit to a hearing health professional and sometimes more. People assume their insurance will pay for little of the costs, but this coverage could rise as hearing loss and its implications for a healthy life become more widely accepted. So ask your provider about coverage for audiology appointments and hearing aid costs.

Hopefully, the resources contained in this article will help those wrestling with bettering their or a loved ones hearing to recognize the many funding options and innumerable health and emotional benefits in purchasing hearing aids. If you have any more funding links to share with the People Hearing Better community, please contact dstewart@ahaanet.com

References:

Kochkin Sergei, PHD, Luxford William, MD, Northern L. Jerry, PHD, Mason Pam, MeD, Tharpe Ann Marie, PHD, Are 1 Million Dependents with Hearing Loss in America Being Left Behind? September 2007 taken on October 19, 2011, retrieved from: http://www.betterhearing.org/pdfs/marketrak7-children.pdf

Henry Ford Health System. "Lowering cost doesn't increase hearing aid purchases, but eliminating costs does." ScienceDaily, 10 May 2011. Web. 24 Oct. 2011.

If you'd like to learn more, see your hearing health provider. If you need help finding a hearing health provider click HERE to be connected with the largest network of trusted hearing health professionals in the nation!

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