Hearing Aid Benefits

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Barefootgirl
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Hearing Aid Benefits

Post by Barefootgirl »

My brother is a very dedicated public high school teacher, teaching in a low income area. He's also hearing impaired and wears expensive hearing aids.

It's time for his hearing aids to be upgraded to stronger units and they are very expensive and not covered by his insurance.

Are any of you aware of organizations that provide benefits or any kind of support for the hearing impaired? I am trying to research any way for him/us to buy them at a reduced or subsidized price or similar.

Thank you.
How many retired people does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Only one, but he takes all day.
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BL
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Re: Hearing Aid Benefits

Post by BL »

Have you checked Costco for reasonable priced hearing aids?

Sorry, I don't know of any direct help. Government may have assistance with telephone aids.

Here is something that came up with a Google search:
http://www.asha.org/public/coverage/p4A ... Resources/
Rupert
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Re: Hearing Aid Benefits

Post by Rupert »

I looked into this once because I have a child who wears a hearing aid. There is very little aid available, and what is available is available only to very very low income persons. My child's ear surgeon lobbies our state legislature incessantly to require insurance companies to cover aids for children. So far he's had no luck. It's an even harder sell for adults. Many children will actually opt for implantable bone-conduction aids, when normal hearing aids might have worked okay, just because insurance is required to pay for the implantable devices.
sport
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Re: Hearing Aid Benefits

Post by sport »

Search the site for hearing aids and Costco. There have been previous threads that seem to show that Costco costs less than half the price elsewhere.
clip651
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Re: Hearing Aid Benefits

Post by clip651 »

You have him might ask his school system (or union, or HR, as appropriate) if there are any hearing benefits outside of his health insurance. For example, Hear In America is a benefits administrator for hearing aid benefits. I have a friend that used them, and while it was a benefit from an employer, it was not part of health insurance. The aids were still expensive (there were a variety of types available at different price points), but Hear In America did provide some guidance, claimed to be providing a discount vs buying without them, provided a longer warranty time, and a few years of free batteries, etc. Friend had a good experience.

Edited to add - looking at their website, it may be possible to sign up for Hear in America even without any involvement of the employer. I'm not sure of the details.

(If you want to check what sort of discount it is, you may be able to get a price for the same aids, both with an without the Hear in America pricing. Not sure how you would figure the value of the longer warranty, etc.)
Last edited by clip651 on Fri Feb 24, 2017 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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flossy21
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Re: Hearing Aid Benefits

Post by flossy21 »

Barefootgirl wrote:My brother is a very dedicated public high school teacher, teaching in a low income area. He's also hearing impaired and wears expensive hearing aids.

It's time for his hearing aids to be upgraded to stronger units and they are very expensive and not covered by his insurance.

Are any of you aware of organizations that provide benefits or any kind of support for the hearing impaired? I am trying to research any way for him/us to buy them at a reduced or subsidized price or similar.

Thank you.
In my area the local Lion's Club helps people who are vision and hearing impaired. Does he know anyone he can contact there?

Also, some audiologist's have aids that have been returned for whatever reason that they use for "loaners". He might ask the Audiologist for some help there.
Nowizard
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Re: Hearing Aid Benefits

Post by Nowizard »

If he knows what he needs from past use of hearing aids, that is a positive in looking for new ones. A friend bought his on E-Bay at a major discount and has had no problems.

Tim
mrc
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Re: Hearing Aid Benefits

Post by mrc »

I really don't understand how an eBay purchase would work out. HAs need custom fitting and tuning to your hearing profile in both ears.

Anyway, +1 for Costco. $1200 for Kirkland Signature pair, compared to $6K for units from a boutique. For at 90 year old: this is some serious hardware.
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carolinaman
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Re: Hearing Aid Benefits

Post by carolinaman »

+1 for Costco. Great prices, products and service. You might check with your state association for the deaf and blind. They may be able to help him or at least guide him to the best solution for his needs.
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MichaelRpdx
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Re: Hearing Aid Benefits

Post by MichaelRpdx »

Another Costco vote. I"ve worn hearing aids for over a decade.
Costco does no upselling, their testing is accurate, the prices unbeatable.
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Watty
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Re: Hearing Aid Benefits

Post by Watty »

Barefootgirl wrote: and not covered by his insurance.
If he has not already done it he should double check on this by calling their 800 number and asking. Before I retired it turned out that hearing aids were actually covered by my employer's health coverage and it was far from a Cadillac plan so that really surprised us. As I recall they did not list hearing aids in the plan summary that they normally give out so you had to know to ask about it. :oops:

There were still all sorts of limitations on basic versions of hearing aids and using in network providers etc. but it still helped.

That is apparently very unusual but some plans do cover them so it doesn't hurt to call to double check.
likegarden
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Re: Hearing Aid Benefits

Post by likegarden »

I am wearing a hearing aid for about 6 years now, got it for $ 3,600. We have a Costco only about 2 hours driving away, would love to buy a new one from there, but it is too far. It is a shame that HA centers ask for $5,600 as I had a quote for in a local place. I live in NY state, and while being quoted that $5,600 7 years ago from one place, a small bus from social services pulled up with 10 or so people, probably county and state are paying for that. Perhaps reasonably priced hearing aids are provided via the teachers' union or the state for teachers.
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dm200
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Re: Hearing Aid Benefits

Post by dm200 »

A friend of ours has a significant hearing problem (both ears) and she is a retired high school teacher.

She has told me that in evaluating hearing aids, it is vital that anything she gets or tries must have a no cost return policy within a week or so.
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dm200
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Re: Hearing Aid Benefits

Post by dm200 »

Barefootgirl wrote:My brother is a very dedicated public high school teacher, teaching in a low income area. He's also hearing impaired and wears expensive hearing aids.
It's time for his hearing aids to be upgraded to stronger units and they are very expensive and not covered by his insurance.
Are any of you aware of organizations that provide benefits or any kind of support for the hearing impaired? I am trying to research any way for him/us to buy them at a reduced or subsidized price or similar.
Thank you.
Can a Healthcare spending account work for him? [Both access to one as well as whether these are allowable uses.]

I have no idea whether this might qualify, but there are certain requirements that employers must provide reasonable accommodation to disabled employees. I might investigate.
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JPH
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Re: Hearing Aid Benefits

Post by JPH »

My BC/BS insurance offers only a small benefit for hearing aids, but the policy also includes access to a network of providers called TruHearing, which offers discounted prices on hearing aids. My audiologist is not in the network, but I printed out the TruHearing pricelist and she matched the discounted price. Deep discounts are common in the hearing aid industry, so it does not hurt to ask and try to negotiate.
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momo54
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Re: Hearing Aid Benefits

Post by momo54 »

May I suggest http://hearingcaresolutions.com . When I found out about them I made several phone calls and found a audiologist that that deals with this company . I just purchased a pair or Oticon opn1's and I am using them now. Fantastic hearing aids by the way! They list close to $8,000 new and I paid 3,900 for the pay. Un fortunately I was in the same boat as you I just could not find financial aid as much as I tried. It really stinks in my opinion . I have a severe to profound hearing loss and most insurance companies don't provide any coverage for them . Eyeglasses yes they pay for those. Hearing aids..no way.

I went to Costco at first and I have what was termed a difficult hearing lost and the tech or whatever they are called was on the phone seeking help to program them {phonic brio2} and still could not get it right. So I sought out a audiologist with a doctors degree in audiology. She knew her stuff and what a different world it is for me to be able to hear again. Except for my wife.....lol.

So in my experience if he has a worsening hearing issue which it sounds like he does I would seek out a audiologist . I know it might be more expensive but its something he will have for 5 or more years .

I know Costco has a six month return policy but what good is it to save a nickel if they are confounded programing a hearing aid !

I sincerely hope I have provided some help to you

Good luck
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Bob B
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Re: Hearing Aid Benefits

Post by Bob B »

Barefootgirl wrote: Can a Healthcare spending account work for him? [Both access to one as well as whether these are allowable uses.]
Yes, hearing aids are an allowable use for an HSA. I did it last year.
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carolinaman
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Re: Hearing Aid Benefits

Post by carolinaman »

momo54 wrote:May I suggest http://hearingcaresolutions.com . When I found out about them I made several phone calls and found a audiologist that that deals with this company . I just purchased a pair or Oticon opn1's and I am using them now. Fantastic hearing aids by the way! They list close to $8,000 new and I paid 3,900 for the pay. Un fortunately I was in the same boat as you I just could not find financial aid as much as I tried. It really stinks in my opinion . I have a severe to profound hearing loss and most insurance companies don't provide any coverage for them . Eyeglasses yes they pay for those. Hearing aids..no way.

I went to Costco at first and I have what was termed a difficult hearing lost and the tech or whatever they are called was on the phone seeking help to program them {phonic brio2} and still could not get it right. So I sought out a audiologist with a doctors degree in audiology. She knew her stuff and what a different world it is for me to be able to hear again. Except for my wife.....lol.

So in my experience if he has a worsening hearing issue which it sounds like he does I would seek out a audiologist . I know it might be more expensive but its something he will have for 5 or more years .

I know Costco has a six month return policy but what good is it to save a nickel if they are confounded programing a hearing aid !

I sincerely hope I have provided some help to you

Good luck
Costco has hearing aid techs and also has audiologists. They will assign you to an audiologist if you ask for one. My first hearing aid was provided by an audiologist at an ENT who was a PHD. I got my second set of hearing aids from an audiologist from Costco. IMO, the Costco audiologist was more thorough and did a better job of explaining my test results. She also did a good job of fitting me. I only had to go back one time for an adjustment. With the ENT, it took several visits to to get my hearing aid tuned properly. You lose nothing by going to Costco and you save a lot of money.

Costco claims they are the world's largest hearing aid seller.
mhalley
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Re: Hearing Aid Benefits

Post by mhalley »

There is now an FDA approved hearing aid available online. No personal experience but it does have a 30 day return policy. $299 plus $49 for the test.

http://www.ihearmedical.com/?gclid=Cj0K ... An4T8P8HAQ
HIinvestor
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Re: Hearing Aid Benefits

Post by HIinvestor »

My folks bought their hearing aids at Costco. They had 30 or 90 days return policy with no questions asked for a full refund. They also would give you a free replacement pair if you lost your original pair purchased from them. They do work with insurers and some provide partial coverage (my folks' Medicare B or BCBS policy covered a portion of the cost).

The ENT that H saw says many of his patients have been happy with their Costco hearing aids. They do have audiologists on staff that you can see at no charge in connection with determining if you need hearing aids and free adjustments as often as needed.

They many not have the newest or fanciest hearing aids but they have decent prices and good service, as well as very low prices on batteries.
robertalpert
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Re: Hearing Aid Benefits

Post by robertalpert »

Barefootgirl wrote:My brother is a very dedicated public high school teacher, teaching in a low income area. He's also hearing impaired and wears expensive hearing aids.

It's time for his hearing aids to be upgraded to stronger units and they are very expensive and not covered by his insurance.

Are any of you aware of organizations that provide benefits or any kind of support for the hearing impaired? I am trying to research any way for him/us to buy them at a reduced or subsidized price or similar.

Thank you.

Try the state agency for Vocational Rehabilitation (Bureau of Vocational Rehab) or (Division of Vocational Rehab). They may assist with cost of hearing aids for persons that are currently employed and / or persons seeking employment.
InMyDreams
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Re: Hearing Aid Benefits

Post by InMyDreams »

For financial assistance, perhaps a go-fund-me account?

My father's first hearing aids were from Costco. They were good, and one huge advantage is that the aftercare moved with him.

But he's been more satisfied with the Audiology clinic at our teaching hospital. The audiologist has been fantastic - and made me appreciate that the cost of the hearing aids is not the device itself, but the aftercare. They need tweaking and rebalancing. He doesn't pay for the visits, but does pay for batteries (of course) and some parts repair if needed. He finally added ear molds last fall, and he talks about getting a new pair so that he can add some additional blue tooth capabilities. He already has a blue tooth control to change volume and environment settings.
Topic Author
Barefootgirl
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Re: Hearing Aid Benefits

Post by Barefootgirl »

For financial assistance, perhaps a go-fund-me account?

Appreciate the suggestion...where we come from, community charity tends to be reserved for emergencies.
How many retired people does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Only one, but he takes all day.
gypsylady
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Re: Hearing Aid Benefits

Post by gypsylady »

I'll second the advice to call your local Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) Office. I used to work with them a lot in my former occupation,
and was amazed at the help they gave. Hearing Aids were one of the things that they helped with (for someone to retain or enter a job field)
InMyDreams
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Re: Hearing Aid Benefits

Post by InMyDreams »

Barefootgirl wrote:For financial assistance, perhaps a go-fund-me account?

Appreciate the suggestion...where we come from, community charity tends to be reserved for emergencies.
I don't go to the site, but I've been amazed by the few requests that I've read there - like a vacation in Europe? This seems like a much more worthy plea.

And you don't have to tell your friends :)
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