Financial Help for Buying Hearing Aids
Find the assistance you need to get effective hearing aids
The high price of hearing aids makes these essential hearing devices prohibitively expensive for many people. Additionally, insurance rarely covers all or any of the cost. There are several Washington State and national programs and organizations that can help by providing free or lower-cost hearing health services and/or hearing aids.
This Healthy Hearing article also contains valuable information about pricing factors, buying options, and the value of investing in hearing aids.
Resources for acquiring hearing aids
HSDC provides audiology services and lower-cost, refurbished hearing aids. Their main office is in downtown Seattle, but they have offices across the state.
NAC provides low-interest loans for hearing aids and other assistive technologies.
The Lions Hearing Aid Program provides hearing aids to people with little or no income. Applicants must be 18 or older.
If you or your child qualifies for a 504 Plan or Individualized Education Plan, WPS, in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, must provide accommodations including hearing aids and assistive listening systems. This applies to elementary, secondary, and postsecondary education at schools receiving federal funding.
If you’re in the workforce, or striving to be, the Washington State Division of Vocational Rehabilitation may help. If you lost your hearing due to a workplace injury, you could qualify for help from Washington State Labor & Industries.
Costco has hearing aids that many people find affordable and appropriate for their needs, and if you’re an AARP member, you may qualify for their 20% discount off certain digital hearing aids.
Hearing aids may be covered by your FEHB plan. Review your plan’s current brochure for services that are covered.
The Help America Hear Program provides new hearing aids to men, women, and children with limited financial resources. As a prerequisite, applicants are asked to exhaust all other financial resources.
The Miracle-Ear Foundation Gift of Sound™ program provides hearing aids and hearing support services to families or individuals with significantly limited incomes.
The National Hearing Aid Project provides hearing aids to low-income individuals on a national scale and accepts donations of hearing aids, batteries, and hearing aid accessories.
The VA provides free or low-cost hearing aids for veterans. Contact your nearest VA facility.
Finally, the Hearing Industries Association has published this outstanding guide for financial assistance. (download PDF)
Insurance options and advocacy
Unfortunately, Medicare does not currently cover hearing aids. Medicare does pay for cochlear implants if the recipient meets certain requirements. Some Medicare Advantage plans — offered by private insurers and known as Medicare Part C — include coverage of hearing aids. HLAA is actively working with Congress to pass legislation that will include hearing health and aids under Medicare.
It’s worth checking to see if your private health insurance includes hearing aids. Recent data as shown that about 40 percent of Americans have some form of third-party payment that helps to pay for hearing aids. On average, most plans that include hearing aids cover about 85 percent of the cost every few years. HLAA-WA continues to advocate for a new law requiring private insurers operating in Washington State to cover hearing health and hearing aids.
Children and adults on Washington State Medicaid receive hearing health care, including single and bilateral hearing aids. Cochlear implants and bone-anchored hearing aids are covered for people age 20 and under. Some exclusions or limitations may apply. In 2018 HLAA-WA led the advocacy effort to restore hearing aid coverage for adults on state Medicaid. Dozens of senior and disability advocacy groups joined us and share in the victory.