“Where can I find an affordable pair of hearing aids?”Of all the questions we receive, this is the most common. While health insurance should help cover hearing aids as a medical necessity, unfortunately most plans won’t. Until that changes, here are some suggestions for finding low-cost or even free hearing aids, if you quality.
Financial aid options
Although more insurers (e.g., Medicare) are willing to pay for office visits and hearing tests for patients with an established medical need, the primary expense for those with hearing loss is the cost of the actual hearing aids. Financial aid other than traditional medical insurance is available though many patients don’t realize these alternatives exist.
In certain states, Medicaid offers a “medically needy” program administered through local social service agencies that will cover hearing aids for those who meet certain qualifications. Check with your local Medicaid office for more information.
Another option is the Veterans Administration. If you are a military veteran, you may qualify for financial assistance or in some cases even free hearing aids. Contact your local VA to find out how to establish your qualifications.
A number of other state and national resources provide financial assistance for purchasing hearing aids. For more information, check out the comprehensive list of options provided courtesy of The Better Hearing Institute.
Sources of low-cost and free hearing aids
Although some online sites sell hearing aids at “outlet” prices we cannot recommend them, as far too many sell substandard devices―either poorly refurbished or low-quality knockoffs of major brands. However, there are legitimate alternatives for those in need of affordable hearing aids, including the following:
- AARP has a hearing care program for members. From now until January 15, 2016 they are offering a 20% discount on digital hearing aids plus an extra $200 off for the holiday season
- Easter Seals offers programs to assist qualified adults and children gain access to free or reduced-cost hearing tests and hearing aids
- The Lions Club has a hearing aid recycling program in 16 states that provides refurbished hearing aids to those in need
- Sertoma is another charitable organization that recycles hearing aids and distributes them to low-income children and adults with hearing loss
Hearing aid manufacturer assistance
It also pays to join online communities established by hearing aid manufacturers, which often offer members special rebates and contests. For example, Sivantos, Inc., the manufacturer of Siemens hearing aids in the United States, is currently running a 12 Days of Hearing Sweepstakes valid until Sunday, December 20. 12 winners will be drawn at random, and each will receive a free pair of their high-end binax hearing aids, including the cost of fitting by a hearing care professional.