Hearing Aid Financial Assistance for Every Stage of Life
Estimates show that around 35 million Americans are hearing impaired, and this number is projected to rise to 40 million by 2025. Even more concerning is that the vast majority—a staggering 86%—of people who need hearing aids can’t afford to hear, even with health insurance. If you need hearing aids but are struggling to afford them, below are several ways for you to get hearing aid financial assistance for an improved quality of life.
How much do hearing aids cost?
If you’ve ever thought, “I need a hearing aid but can’t afford it,” know you are not alone. Hearing aids are typically an out of pocket expense reaching into the thousands of dollars—a cost that is prohibitive for many people who need them.
- Hearing aid prices can range from $1,000 to $6,000 per ear, depending on the type of technology used. This cost also includes a consultation and hearing test, the initial fitting, and follow-up adjustments.
- For many years, hearing aids had an average price of $900 each, but with the relatively recent introduction of digital signal processing technology, prices have gone up since the 2000s. Most manufacturers of hearing aids introduce new technology every six months, which also contributes to the increasing cost.
- Many devices are over-engineered, resulting in a price bubble in the cost of hearing aids. Hearing aids nowadays are packed full of features that, for most people, offer marginal to no perceived benefit.
- A fairly small group of companies control the hearing aid market—six of them together own 90% of the market share—so consumer choice is extremely limited. Many hearing aids are also sold bundled with audiology fees and services, which account for two-thirds of the cost of hearing aids.
- The estimated lifespan of hearing aids is about three to seven years, but may last longer depending on the style and your changing hearing needs. In-the-ear hearing aids are more exposed to sweat, which shortens their lifespans to four to five years. Behind-the-ear hearing systems can be worn for five to six years.
Hearing aid coverage by state
Hearing aid coverage by state varies, and is dependent on whether your insurance plan includes a provision for state-mandated hearing aid benefits. Only five states—Rhode Island, Connecticut, Illinois, New Hampshire, and Arkansas—require health insurance plans to cover hearing aids for adults.
Further, these state insurance laws can differ significantly when it comes to the amount covered, benefit periods, and provider qualifications. For example, Connecticut requires policies to cover hearing aids for kids 12 years or younger, while Delaware mandates coverage for everyone under 24.
How to find financial help for hearing aids
No one should have to struggle to hear the world around them, and miss out on special moments with family and friends simply due to hearing loss. Below, take a look at a variety of resources that can help you afford the hearing aids you need.
Government assistance for hearing aids
Financial help for hearing aids may be provided by the government, but this support can also be limited. Basic Medicare, for example, doesn’t cover hearing aid units or fitting exams—although some Medicare Advantage Plans do.
- Hearing aid coverage through Medicaid depends on which state you live in. Some states do not offer coverage, while others offer coverage with set limitations—and only if you meet certain eligibility requirements.
- The Veterans Affairs Department provides free hearing aid programs for those who qualify. You must also maintain eligibility for VA care to receive these benefits.
Nonprofits that can help with hearing aids
Several nonprofits offer hearing aid assistance for low income households. However, they do have eligibility criteria that you are required to meet, as well as application deadlines and waiting periods. Some of these organizations also charge a small application fee.
- The HIKE Fund provides free hearing aid programs for children under the age of 20 whose parents do not have the extra funds to purchase hearing aids.
- AUDIENT is a nonprofit alliance of suppliers, healthcare professionals, and related groups. They provide hearing aid assistance for low-income people nationwide by making quality hearing aid systems and services available at a discount.
- Created by the Hearing Charities of America, The National Hearing Aid Project provides hearing aids to low-income individuals. They also refurbish hearing aids and perform hearing evaluations.
- The Miracle Ear Foundation provides free or low-cost hearing aids to both children and adults alike who can demonstrate a financial need.
- Established in 1984, the Starkey Hearing Foundation delivers community-based hearing healthcare to residents of the US and abroad. They also offer a range of hearing health training programs.
Crowdfunding for free hearing aids
Crowdfunding can help you afford the hearing aids you need when other options fall short. With crowdfunding, you can easily raise money for your medical expenses without going through a lengthy application process or waiting period. These top fundraising tips will help you create a successful fundraiser, so you can get back to hearing—and enjoying—life to the fullest.
- A compelling fundraiser story will help you connect with your audience, inspiring more donations in the process. Another fundraising tip for writing an engaging story is to give readers a full understanding of what you’re going through.
- The most successful fundraisers have a powerful campaign title that summarizes your story and draws the reader in. Catchy titles are more memorable, and can attract more donations and attention to your campaign.
- Check out these fundraiser sharing tips to help get your cause seen by as many people as possible. The more people know about your fundraiser, the more donations you are likely to receive.
- Follow the eight best practices in this comprehensive medical crowdfunding guide, which walks you through how to create a winning fundraiser from start to finish.
Hearing aid fundraisers that work
Medical fundraisers can be a powerful tool to find the hearing aid financial assistance you deserve. With free fundraising through GoFundMe, it’s easy for you to find the help you need when you need it—and a 0% platform fee means that more of the money you raise goes directly toward your new hearing aids.
When young Braden’s dog, Chewy, ate his hearing aids, his parents suggested he start a fundraiser to cover the cost of a replacement—and also help others in need. With the help of his parents, Braden created a fundraiser to help the Oticon Hearing Foundation supply hearing aids to people who cannot afford them. Braden raised over $112,000 for the foundation.
Allen had long struggled with hearing loss, getting progressively worse throughout the years. In the spring of 2018, he was told that he would need hearing aids or risk losing even more of his ability to hear. His daughter, Jamie, turned to fundraising for help. Through crowdfunding, they raised nearly $7,000 to buy new hearing aids for her dad.
Little Ivy was born with structural hearing loss. Her mother, Hayley, was told during a hearing aid consultation that Ivy needed hearing aids—but that insurance would only cover part of the cost. Through her fundraiser, Hayley raised the $5,000 balance needed to pay for Ivy’s new hearing aids.
Find hearing aid financial assistance today
Coping with hearing loss can be difficult, but there are many resources to help you get the treatment you need—without the high price tag. With fundraising, you can quickly access the hearing aids you need to live your best life, free from the inconvenience of hearing loss. Sign up today to start your fundraiser, and raise the money you need fast.