Hearing aids are among the most useful devices for a person with hearing loss. With the help of such devices, it is also possible to manage other associated health problems as well.
However, hearing aids can be quite expensive. Depending on the technology, hearing aids range from $1000 to $6000 US dollars. Often people struggle to spend this amount of money at once. On the other hand, life becomes very difficult for seniors with hearing issues if they don’t get hearing aids, especially if they have a condition like tinnitus.
The good news is that some insurances provide financial assistance to people. The problem is most people don’t know about them. If you need a hearing aid, the high price of the devices can be rough on your pocket and it can be a deterrent to getting the device. If you are willing to do a little bit of footwork, you can get some allowance for the hearing aids.
Here are the ways you can apply for free hearing aids.
Who is Eligible for Free Hearing Aids?
There are quite a few organizations that help people with hearing loss to get hearing aids for free. In some instances, they may provide financial aids or give you the name of organizations that can help you. However, the requirements can vary from organization to organization.
Point to be noted, many people tend to think that Tricare covers hearing aids, which is not the case.
All of these organizations thoroughly verify your financial situation. Some organizations focus on older adults; some may focus on veterans. Here are a few options for you to explore:
- The veterans’ health administration
- Vocational rehab
- National and state foundations
All of these organizations provide either financial aid or other important assistance according to their policy. Let’s look at them in detail:
Ask Your Audiologist
Your audiologist can be quite helpful in pointing you in the right direction. If you face difficulties in affording hearing aid devices, ask your audiologist to provide you with some insight into local non-profit organizations.
These organizations will then evaluate your situation and determine how they can help you.
Hearing Loss Association of America
The hearing loss association of America helps people with information about financial aid assistance programs. They are keen to help each and everyone, including elderly people. This association may not provide hearing aid devices to individuals. What it does is arm people with up-to-date financial aid options.
Lions Club International
Lions Club runs a project called the “affordable hearing aid project.” This can be a great option for many. You need to apply through your local Lions Club. Then your eligibility is based on your income and an appointment with a hearing health professional is made then. You can find your local’s Lions Club by using the Lions Club international locator.
While Medicaid does cover hearing aid expenses, it varies from state to state. Medicaid doesn’t provide any assistance in some states but they cover the whole expenses or just the assessments and maintenance in different ones. You can contact your state’s Medicaid office for detailed information.
People struggling to hold on to a job due to any disability are entitled to this benefit. The state’s vocational rehabilitation program aids older adults who are capable of performing tasks but are troubled by their disability. So, if you do need a hearing aid, checking up if you are eligible for vocational rehabilitation services is highly recommended.
Most health insurance does not cover the complete cost of hearing aids. Some may cover the hearing assessments and hearing aid fittings cost. In most cases, the patient either copays or spends from his pocket to pay for the devices.
Some Insurance companies nowadays may get affiliated with certain hearing aid companies. This is done to provide the consumers high-quality hearing aids at a low price. It can provide you a much better deal.
All the insurance plans vary drastically from one company to another. So, when purchasing your insurance, make sure to ask the following questions:
- What are the hearing aid benefits?
- Are the benefits applicable for some specific model or brand?
- Is it required to grab the device from a certain vendor?
It is better to get these answers in a written form. It will help in claiming the benefits and will work as documents.
Veterans’ Health Administration
The VA healthcare plan is an excellent opportunity to get hearing aids if you have worked as a veteran. You can make use of the opportunity even if your disability is not associated with your service period. You can apply online or over the phone. This also allows you to establish your eligibility at a local VA Medical Center.
You will need to show your DD-214 and health insurance cards in these cases. The tax returns of the past few years may also come in handy in some instances. Once you are proven eligible, you can receive comprehensive benefits from this plan.
The application process for free hearing aids can be difficult. However, once you start the process, it does get easier.
First, you need to choose the organizations and plans applicable in your case. You can find them online, or your audiologist can suggest them as well. Then you need to provide the necessary documents and information. You will find all the necessary information and links on the respective website.
After providing the information, your application will be evaluated. If you meet the requirements, you may need to provide your hearing loss documents or get checked up again. After that, according to your requirements, you’ll be allotted your hearing aid device.
What is the Basis of Eligibility for Free Hearing Aids
Whether or not you are eligible to receive a free hearing aid depends on three things:
- Financial Condition
- Service to the Country
- Potential to Work
If you have ever worked as a veteran, you are entitled to get free hearing aids. You need to keep your veteran ID, health insurance documents, and tax returns handy in such cases.
If you live in a low-income household, you can apply for free hearing aids. You need to show relevant documents that hinder your ability to purchase the device. Also, if you are a student or low-income worker and your disability hinders your potential to work, you can get them as well.
Most people tend to shy away from getting a must-needed hearing aid due to financial difficulties. However, there are definitive ways to get a device almost free of charge. With a few small steps, you can get your required device and can enjoy your life to its fullest. So, make sure to learn about the details and work towards getting your hearing aid devices.