Financial Help for Buying Hearing Aids
Find the assistance you need to get effective hearing aids
Private Group Insurance
Some health care plans in Washington State currently cover hearing aids. In addition, hearing aids will be covered under most private group insurance in Washington State beginning January 1, 2024. In 2023, HLAA-WA and other hearing advocates championed the passage of Senate Bill 5338 and House Bill 1222, which will expand hearing aid coverage to many children and adults in our state.
For a helpful, detailed discussion on these two laws, read HLAA-WA Legislative Liaison Diana Thompson’s article for the Bellevue Network on Aging (scroll down to page 6).
Remember, these new laws are complex, so ask your insurance company, employer, or audiologist about your hearing aid coverage.
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.
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.
Beyond health insurance
The high price of hearing aids makes these essential hearing devices prohibitively expensive for many people. 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.