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.
HLAA believes that seniors with hearing loss should not have to scrimp and save, or go without basic needs, to just be able to hear. Seniors on fixed incomes, seniors who depend on Social Security and Medicare, seniors who don’t qualify for Medicaid or who live in states that don’t provide hearing aids through Medicaid, should not have to choose between hearing and their other basic needs.
That’s why HLAA is supporting the Help Extend Auditory Relief Act of 2013, HR 3150, the HEAR Act, introduced in the US House of Representatives by Pennsylvania Representative Matt Cartwright September 19, 2013. This legislation would:
- amend the Social Security Act to include Medicare coverage for hearing rehabilitation, including a comprehensive audiology assessment to determine if a hearing aid is appropriate, a threshold test to determine audio acuity, and various services associated with fitting, adjusting, and using hearing aids.
- extend Medicare coverage to hearing aids, defining them as any wearable instrument or device for compensating for hearing loss.