The number one call for help that HLAA receives – via phone, email and in person – is financial assistance for the purchase of hearing aids. One son called for mom who is in her 80’s, who had two hearing aids until they both died at the same time. They were struggling to find a way to replace them. Most seniors who age into their hearing loss are simply floored when they learn that Medicare does not cover the cost of hearing aids.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law in March 2010 by President Barack Obama. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the law’s goal is to make health insurance available and affordable to people and small groups, such as employees of small businesses and organizations, who are uninsured. While some provisions of the law have already taken effect, many more provisions will be implemented in the coming years.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is interested in gathering more information about hearing aid compatible (HAC) phones.
HLAA is thrilled to learn that on October 1, the State of Hawaii published their list of benchmark benefits under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Massachusetts advocates were thrilled to learn that Governor Deval signed HB 52 into law August 7, 2012.
House Bill 52, “An Act to Provide Access to Hearing Aids for Children” would mandate insurance coverage for hearing aids for children 21 years old and younger, up to $2,000 per hearing aid every 36 months. On August 2, 2012 the Massachusetts State Legislature passed HB 52, a moment eight long years in the making.
WASHINGTON, DC, May 24, 2012 — On May 16, the Friends of the Congressional Hearing Health Caucus (FCHHC) hosted a Hearing Forum and Reception for Representatives, Congressional staff and others interested in hearing health. At the event which was organized by Hearing Industries Assn (HIA), visitors could have their hearing screened by hearing professionals, test the volume of their Music Player ear buds using a testing dummy provided by the American-Speech-Language-Hearing Assn (ASHA), and participate in a video otoscope demonstration using equipment provided by MedRX, Largo, FL.
Hearing Loss Association of America along with nine other organizations representing people with hearing loss, parents of children with hearing loss, hearing health professionals and hearing aid manufacturers sponsored a briefing in honor of the Congressional Hearing Health Caucus (CHHC) on February 8, 2012. The CHHC has been reinvigorated this year by Representatives Tom Latham, R-IA, and Carolyn McCarthy, D-NY. The briefing attracted a record 125 Congressional staffers and members of hearing health organizations to examine “how the Military and Veterans Administration are handling the surge in hearing loss and tinnitus cases related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
Hearing Loss Association of America and 17 other national and local organizations sent a strong message to Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius urging inclusion of hearing health care under the Affordable Care Act. Our letter was sent in response to the bulletin on Essential Health Care Benefits that was open to the public for comments. Spearheaded by the Hearing Access Program in New York, HLAA was eager to support the effort that could result in more people getting access to affordable hearing aids and hearing health services.
Hearing Loss Association of America supports the Medicare Hearing Health Care Enhancement Act of 2011 (HR 2140). This legislation would allow Medicare beneficiaries the option of going directly to a qualified audiologist for hearing and balance diagnostic tests. Currently, Medicare requires that beneficiaries with hearing loss or balance disorders obtain a physician referral before seeing an audiologist.