Hearing Aids for the Elderly

Many hearing-impaired seniors living on a fixed income cannot afford the high cost of hearing aids, which, according to Lions Club International, cost an average of $3,600 each. What’s more, very few health insurance policies pay for hearing aids and to the surprise of many, Medicare does not provide coverage for the devices or the exams required to fit them. Fortunately, organizations and institutions have been set up to provide relief to those who need it most.

Resources

If you’re willing to do a little leg work, there are many organizations that can help you or your loved one afford hearing aids.

Your Audiologist

The best place to start looking for assistance is your audiologist. Ask if they know of any local nonprofit organizations that help seniors suffering from hearing loss obtain hearing aids at no charge.

Hearing Loss Association of America

The Hearing Loss Association of America provides information about a number of financial aid assistance programs available to needy individuals, including the elderly. Although the association does not supply individuals with hearing aids, it acts as a repository of up to date information about a number of financial aid options including those for veterans and through Medicaid.

Lions Club International

Many local Lions Clubs participate in the Lions Affordable Hearing Aid Project (AHAP).

Potential recipients apply through their local Lions Club, which determines eligibility (based on income) and arranges testing by a hearing care professional. You can find your local Lions Club by using the Lions Club International directory. Alternatively, you can contact Lions AHAP at (630) 203-3837 or by e-mail. You can access the AHAP application form online.

Sertoma

Sertoma helps people with hearing problems and runs a hearing aid recycling program known as SHARP (Sertoma Hearing Aid Recycling Program). Currently the SHARP program is active in Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Nebraska. Contact your local Sertoma Club in those states for more information.

Starkey Hearing Foundation

The Starkey Hearing Foundation provides hearing aids for people with limited income under their HEAR Now program. Start by calling 1-800-328-8602 to speak with a consultant. Once you’ve spoken with a representative, you can download and fill out an application.

Trial Programs

Contact hearing aid manufacturers and ask if there is a trial program, in which you can take part. They often seek individuals to help test their new hearing aid models while they are in development. Healthy Hearing has a list of major manufacturers of hearing aids that can be used to make that initial contact.

Some Expert Tips

Michelle Katz, LPN, MSN, author of Healthcare Made Easy and Healthcare for Less offers some additional tips for those seeking assistance obtaining free hearing aids:

  • Make sure the physician or audiologist puts down the correct diagnosis. An incorrect or incomplete diagnosis can hold up or invalidate an application for financial aid.
  • While private insurers rarely provide coverage for hearing aids, three states, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Arkansas require insurers to provide coverage for adults. Be sure to check your private insurance for coverage – especially if live in one of the three “mandate” states.
  • Some states include some coverage for hearing aids and related services, under their health insurance exchanges run under the Affordable Care Act.
  • In addition, double-check on the Department of Health and Human Services since the ACA will be going through more changes and free hearing aids may be included.
  • Organizations such as The National Institute on Deafness and the Better Hearing Institute are also helpful.

Even though most insurance companies do not provide coverage for hearing aids, there are still a lot of options to make sure that seniors have affordable access to audiology care.

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11 Comments

  1. I am looking for help in providing my mother in law hearing aids. She is 100% deaf in right ear, she is disabled and only has small social security check for income. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated., Thank you

  2. Marlene Gardner

    my mother is 96. she is pretty much deaf. i had Chatham Acoustic Hearing come to her house for an analysis and they fitted her with trial hearing aids. it made a huge difference. Unfortunately she had to decline the purchase due to lack of funds. I was told that there may be some assisstance for her financial situation. could you please direct me to theorganizations that could make this possible. please and thank you…..

  3. Connie Clolinger

    Helpful introduction, thank you! Is it possible that you might know who might help my elderly Friend ? He lives in Brooklyn NY and has only Medicare and Social Security and low income. He has no advocate to help him nor relatives. He has significant mobility as well .Thanks again!

  4. I had my ears checked at Sam’s club and they show I need hearing aids, I know I can hear better. But I can’t afford even there’s
    Help me to find someone here in Ocala FL.

  5. Virginia Aurora Fitzgerald

    I’m having trouble hearing, and it has been a few yrs. Financial I can’t afford to purchase a pair, could you help me?

  6. I am Linda Armon and I am on Social security disability. I have lost my hearing in my left ear and partially in the right ear. I need assistance to be able to hear again. Contact me at 317-494-9482.

  7. Andres Reza

    Thank you for this information, now I have somewhere to start looking. I’ll let you and your readers know how it turns out.

  8. Maria M Herrera

    Hello, I read you page on hearing aids for the elderly and it interested me very much. I am 70 years old retired and have had a hearing problem since 1976.Unable to afford a hearing aid through my insurance,although I have had several test and still can not afford one. The cost is to high for the kind of income I have.My hearing has gone out on my right ear which makes it to hard to hear out of one, television (higher than Norma) Cell phone (unable to hear when it rings most of the time. I have a current hearing test in July 2019. How can your organization. help me to hear better.
    My cellphone number is (562) 391-6349. Looking forward to hearing from you. Thank you very much,

  9. Rachelle Frigstad

    I need an hearing aid I only make 1000.00 a montb. PLEASE HELP

  10. My hearing aids are out of warranty. I lost one. One doesn’t work by itself. I need them badly. My work requires me to answer the phone. Which I can’t do. The tinnitus is screaming in my ears without them I’m considered part time. And with my age I don’t get extra hours. With this virus going around. I’m 72. My income is limited and I am supporting a disabled son.

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