Hearing aids bring great comfort to those who are hard of hearing. Impaired hearing requires specialist treatment and hearing aids are a major part of the solution. They are varied in type, quality and in price but are generally rather expensive, which can be prohibitive for those in need. Usually, certain features will lead to higher prices and in general, the higher the quality, the higher the price. Hearing aids a have two different modes of function - analog and digital. As with many products classified this way, digital is more costly than analog. The range of choice now is wider than ever, with people being able to choose from a great variety of devices.
Everyone can be affected by loss of hearing and it can be debilitating for those who suffer from it; as a result, insurance that covers the cost of replacing a hearing aid is absolutely necessary. The aids themselves are expensive pieces of equipment: usually, certain features will lead to higher prices and in general, the higher the quality, the higher the price. Hearing aids have different working modes, sizes and types, with the newest type being Behind The Ear (BTE). The aids are easily damaged, which in itself makes coverage a big risk for insurance companies. Also, one might pay as much as $4,000 for an aid, so if you lose it or damage it, this is a big problem.
Hearing aids are not covered under the Medicare program and many private companies do not provide coverage because the aids are not considered to be prosthetic devices. However, as of 2009, the FEHBP does provide some assistance to children of federal employees.
In January 2009, legislation was passed to provide insurance coverage as part of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. In essence, this entitles federal employees, their families and retired employees to hearing aid insurance. By doing this, it is hoped that the move will encourage private companies to provide hearing aid coverage as part of health insurance.
As regards private insurance companies, most of these organisations will not include insurance for hearing aids as part of their health insurance packages. Some companies will, however, include coverage only after the addition of a premium to the overall insurance plan. Luckily, there do exist some companies that offer insurance that will cover the cost of replacement aids. These companies will help replace aids that become damaged as a result of electronic failures or amplification problems, plus other issues like normal wear and tear of the aids.
Once out of warranty, it is highly advisable to take out some kind of insurance on your hearing aid. After the warranty period, the manufacturer no longer accepts responsibility for the failure of the device, so take care.