“Hearing aids are essential to enable millions of people with hearing loss to fully engage with family, friends and colleagues.” - Anna Gilmore Hall, executive director, HLAA
Senators Dean Heller (R-NV) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) reintroduced the bipartisan Hearing Aid Tax Credit (Senate Bill 315) on January 29, 2015, which would provide a $500 credit to people who need a hearing aid. The bill is unchanged from legislation in the 113th Congress which was championed by Senators Heller and Tom Harkin of Iowa, now retired. Senator Heller is a member of the Senate Finance Committee which has jurisdiction over all tax legislation including the HATC.
If enacted, S. 315 would provide a $500 tax credit per hearing aid for people of all ages, or $1,000 if two hearing aids are needed as is usually the case. That would be a critical assist since 61 percent of all hearing aid purchases involve no third-party payment of any kind. Medicare expressly excludes coverage of hearing aids as do most private insurance policies, and as a result, cost is cited as a prohibitive factor by two thirds of the people who do not treat their hearing loss.
Anna Gilmore Hall, executive director of Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), was quoted in the news release sent out by Senator Heller: “Hearing aids are essential to enable millions of people with hearing loss to fully engage with family, friends and colleagues. And we are thrilled that Senator Heller is continuing to be a champion of efforts to provide a tax credit to help people purchase hearing aids.”
Hearing Industries Association Chairman Todd Murray points out that “hearing aids can help 95 percent of people with hearing loss, and failure to take action can have significant implications for individuals as well as society as a whole.” He notes that initial studies have indicated there is a possible link between hearing loss and dementia, as well as other conditions such as depression and the risk of falling. Murray adds that “the lack of financial assistance should not be a barrier to hearing aid adoption.”
Heller and Klobuchar Team for Hearing Aid Tax Credit
Senators Reintroduce Hearing Aid Tax Credit