A Push for Less Expensive Hearing Aids
Posted by CENTURY HEARING
I know my television is too loud.
I’m asking people to repeat themselves more often.
I’m the restaurant patron asking the manager to please turn down the music so I can hear my friends across the table.
Almost two-thirds of Americans older than 70 have meaningful hearing loss, experts say, and I probably will be among them. I should do something about it.
One reason I haven’t is the average price for hearing aids: roughly $2,500, often more — and most of us need two. That helps explain why only 20 percent of those with hearing loss use hearing aids.
Medicare declines to cover a number of products and services that older beneficiaries need. Dental care ranks high on my personal list of exclusions that make the least sense, but the fact that the 1965 Medicare law specifically prohibits the national insurance program from paying for hearing aids is also a strong contender.
So it’s heartening to notice some recent developments that might lead to more rational policies and more affordable and accessible devices.