Once the cause of a hearing loss have been established, the next phase is the treatment phase. There are often times when treatment is required to correct the hearing loss. There are other times when you need a hearing aid to help improve hearing. It is no longer new to us that hearing aids can be very expensive notwithstanding the introduction of the OTC hearing aids. Most people shy away from hearing aids as a result of the high cost of purchase. Financial implications have become one of the major barriers that has prevented most people who need a hearing aid from going ahead to purchase one.
If you’re one of those in need of a hearing aid, there are various ways you can purchase a hearing aid without spending all your life’s saying in a day. This, however, requires some level of understanding and persistence on your part.
Planning for hearing aid financing and other support programs
The first step to financial planning is to discuss it with your hearing aid center. There are a lot of hearing aid centers that offer alternative payment methods for those facing challenges of finance. There are quite a number of hearing aid centers that offer payment plans at a very low-interest margin or no interest at all. All you need to do is find a plan that fits into your budget.
There are also some hearing aid centers that run foundations to assist those who need a hearing aid but can’t afford to pay the full cost for the hearing aid. There are also other centers that collect and refurbish second-hand hearing aids donated by other people you no longer require them. In most cases, these are people who are upgrading to a higher model.
Most hearing aid professionals are always willing to render assistance to their client. Therefore, always feel free to request assistance from your hearing aid professional. They can recommend a community-based program or foundation to you where you can get the assistance you need. There are community-based programs whose aim is to support some local organizations and assist them in providing hearing aid for low-income earners who can’t afford to purchase one for themselves.
While some individuals may be able to access government funds and support for the treatment of their hearing loss problem, there is still a good number who can’t afford the hearing aid and accessing government funds are also not possible for them. This remains a pressing issue in the treatment of hearing.
Life can be quite difficult for those with hearing loss problem. Communication becomes very difficult and in extreme cases, it can lead to depression. For such individuals, how do they plan for a hearing aid? What are the options available on the ground to help remedy their situation?
There are quite a few ways or options available. All hopes are not lost. We will be looking at some of the ways people with hearing loss problem can finance their hearing aid over time.
Apply for Credit
One way to access funds for hearing aid is to apply for credit. There are a couple of card companies that do not charge an interest rate for new customers over a given period of time. It is important to do your calculations well and determine the amount you can pay easily each month. If it is possible for you to pay off the money before the end of the introductory period, then it’s a win for you. This is, however, dependent on whether the company qualifies you for a credit facility or not.
There are quite a number of sites which can aid you in identifying what card best suits your request and offers 0% introductory rates for new users. There are credit companies whose major aim is to finance healthcare treatment and research. There are two well-known credit card companies who are popular for financing healthcare these are Care Credit and Wells Fargo.
Care credit (Synchronomy financial)
This company is well known and established when it comes to healthcare, beauty credit cards, and wellness. They provide finances for hearing aids, cosmetics, LASIK and vision. They are also well known in the field of veterinary and other healthcare procedures. Over a total number of 75,000, health care providers and institutions are willing to accept credit card facilities. The card readily offers a no percent interest rate for a new user of the card. This is, however, dependent on the condition that you’re willing to spend over 200 dollars for an extended period of over 6 months. The two ways you can apply for this credit card are through their online portal or by participating in one of the healthcare programs they hold throughout the year. This will accord you the privilege to see some of the key individuals in the industry.
When it comes to offering credit facilities for healthcare Wells Fargo have been doing that for over a period of time now. Wells Fargo provides financing for health care through Well Fargo Health Advantage credit cards program. This, however, carries a percentage rate of 12.99%. There are as well special terms and conditions attached to using this credit card. These interests include no interest charges on funds if the amount is paid in full within 6 months, 12 months or 18 months as the case may be. This condition is dependent on the amount of purchase the card user has made over time. All eligible users of the credit card can hop online and register at their official website and proceed to use their card when next they visit their health care provider.
Credit cards are very useful for providing healthcare solution and payments for your hearing aids purchase. What if you do not qualify for credit card facility, what will be next option? Well, no need to give up yet, there are still other ways you can access funds. Let us take a look at the next method of accessing funds which are workplace remunerations.
Remunerations at your workplace
For those who are still an active part of the labor force who are actively working in an office, there is something known as a flexible spending account (FSA). You may inquire from your employer if your health benefits include FSA. FSAs are very useful as they enable an employee bank up to 2,500 USD tax-free dollars per year for the purpose of paying for medical prescriptions, co-payments and other medical costs that may arise such as the purchase of hearing aids.
FSAs are very useful and in most cases, they cover for the cost of hearing aids and hearing examinations. The cost of the hearing aid as identified encompasses the cost of purchase, cost of maintenance and the cost of batteries. It is important to note that FSA funds must be used within the calendar year. You may want to inquire from your employer if there is an option to carry over any funds to another year. It is also advisable to check with your plan administrator before banking in any cash for the specified complete list of payments. Policies can change from time to time and therefore, you need to be abreast with the current trend to be on the safe side.
Use your house as leverage to obtain cash
If you’re a homeowner, it is possible for you to access credits through the home equity line of credit (HELOC) to enable you to raise funds for your new hearing aid device. HELOC is like a form of a second mortgage. It is a loan you agree to pay up within a specified period of time under agreed terms. Your home stands as your collateral. There are also interest rates applicable to the HELOC however, the interest tax will be deducted. To access the HELOC, you need to talk to your banking officer or a mortgage lender to know if you’re qualified to access loans.
The high cost of the hearing aid – what is the way forward?
In some countries, the price of the hearing aid is heavily subsidized by the government to enable people who need the hearing aid have access to it. This privilege in most cases is granted to ex-servicemen, veterans and those in the military. However, countries, where these facilities are accessible, are few.
Hearing aids at the average costs between 1,000 USD to 4,000 USD for one ear. This price is expected to double for those suffering from hearing loss problem on both ears. While this price may be high, it is even more dangerous to neglect your hearing loss problem as a result of financial constraints. When a hearing loss problem is not treated, it can cost you your health and more money in the long run. The more you neglect your hearing loss, the more the condition becomes worse. The communication gap between you and others become wider. This can lead to a sicker patient who requires more intensive care to treat their hearing loss. The cost of this treatment in most cases accumulate to become far higher than the cost of purchasing a hearing aid.
When a hearing loss is neglected for too long, it can lead to a variety of other medical conditions. Alzheimer’s disease and dementia have also been linked to hearing loss. Other medical conditions that have been linked to hearing loss include depression, increased anxiety, and in some cases increased the risk of falling sick with some form of heart disease. Those with hearing loss problem are also subject to higher risks than people with fully functional ears. They are at higher risk of a fall due to balance issues. Their personal safety is also at high risk. Some hearing loss can be so severe that it becomes difficult to hear warning signals both within and outside the home.
According to researches carried out by the National Council on Aging, results indicate that hearing aids are very useful when it comes to improving the lives of those suffering from a hearing loss problem. It has shown reasonable improvements in the following areas of the patient’s life:
These improvements are more prevalent in both people suffering from mild to severe hearing loss. There are a lot of patients who have confessed to living a better and happier life with the aid of their hearing aid devices.
Over the years, there have been a lot of improvements to the hearing aid devices. They have constantly grown smaller than they use to be. With the growth in technology, hearing aid technology has significantly grown. Today, there are a lot of hearing aids that are designed to connect to multiple electronic devices making it easier to enjoy all your favorite activities in one place. As technology continues to improve, we are definitely going to come across a lot of improvements and better performing hearing aids in the future.
While the cost of the hearing aid can soar high, it is quite necessary to understand that there are also ways to make the prices affordable for you. The earlier you begin treatment and making plans for your next hearing aid payment, the better for you. Improving your life is worth more than any price tag attached to it. Healthy hearing is necessary for healthy living.
For those who can’t afford a brand new custom hearing aids, there are other options which they can explore. With the passage of the OTC bill, there are quite a number of hearing aids that can now be purchased over the counter at less than half the price of the custom hearing aids which the audiologist offers you. There are also outlets where you can purchase a used hearing aid or a refurbished hearing aid for less than half the price. Depending on your budget, you can always find something that can work for you. However, buying and OTC hearing aid do not replace the job of a professional. It is very important you go for hearing check-up once in a while. The audiologist is in the best position to determine whether your condition is improving or degenerating.
Available payment plans for hearing aids
Hearing care center plan
There are a couple of hearing aid centers that understand how difficult it is to finally make that decision to go for a hearing aid. Therefore, they offer up to three payment plans to enable the patients to choose which plan is best for them.
Payment plans are designed to spread the payment for a hearing aid over time to make it easier for the patient to pay for their device conveniently without breaking their banks.
At the Hearing Care Center, there are basically 2 plans of payment that are designed to spread the cost over a given period of time.
This plan is designed for people who can afford half the price as the first installment of payment. The remaining half is then spread over a period of 10 months at 0% interest rate.
For example, if the cost of a hearing aid is 4,000 USD, according to plan 1, the payment method will be as follows:
- You make an initial deposit of 50% 0f the total purchase cost which will be 2,000 USD
- The remaining balance of 2,000 USD is spread evenly over a period of 10 months at the cost of 200 USD per month.
- At 0% interest rate
- There are no hidden charges attached to this plan.
This plan is suitable for low-income earners and those who can’t afford to plan one. Plan 2 is designed to run for a period of 36 months at a 12.9% APR typical interest rate. Plan 2 enables low-income earners deposit at their capacity however, it attracts come interest rate.
For example, using the first analogy, if the cost of the hearing aid is 3,000 USD, under plan 2, the initial payment will be a minimum of 10% initial deposit.
- This means that, for 4,000 USD, what you will pay will be an initial deposit of 300 USD.
- 36 months payment plan at 89.98 USD
- APR at 12.9%
Whichever plan you feel is more suitable for you must be one that you can easily pay off with ease and not struggling at the end of each month to pay.
Is it possible to get insurance coverage for hearing aids?
To determine if your hearing aid payment plan has insurance coverage, it is important to speak to your plan provider. Most hearing aid payment plan providers have toll free numbers where you can lodge in complaints and make inquiries about their services. Insurance cover for hearing aids varies in their mode of administration.
Below are a few examples of the type of benefits you might meet in real life when it comes to hearing aid coverage.
- A health plan may decide to pay a stated amount as part payment for the purchase of a hearing aid. This amount can vary from 500 USD to about 1,000 USD. This amount of money paid can either be provided for one ear or for both ears as the case may be. This kind of arrangement is renewable over a given period of time, maybe after 3 years or 5 years as the case may be.
- Your health plan may decide to provide you an allowance for the purchase of your hearing aid if you purchase from their retail outlet or their contracted providers. This amount may not be physical cash but rather a discount on the original price of the hearing aid. For instance, if the cost of a hearing aid is 4,000 USD and your health plan has made provision of a 1,000 USD allowance fund this amount is then deducted from the original cost of your purchase. You now pay the sum of 3,000 USD instead of the original sum of 4,000 USD.
- Another kind of benefit is, your health plan may go into agreement with selected providers after a negotiated discount rate. The provider, in turn, becomes their authorized provider. This means that, for you to enjoy the discount rate on the hearing aid, you must purchase from such providers.
Every hearing plan has its own way of operation and their coverage for hearing aid also varies. This variation can furthermore have some major differences depending on your country of residence or geographical location.
There are a number of countries around the world today that has made it compulsory for health insurance companies to provide either partial hearing aids coverage or full coverage for children. Only three states have made it mandatory for healthcare insurance companies to provide coverage for adult hearing aids. These 3 states are Island of Rhode, Arkansas and New Hampshire. The Island of Rhode and Arkansas are pushing forward for the provision of a hearing aid that is renewable after 3 years. For New Hampshire, it’s a 5 years renewable insurance healthcare cover.
There is always a variation from state to a state where you have state mandated hearing aids coverage. This is due to the fact that the laws guiding the healthcare sectors and specific issues regarding the use of hearing aid. If you reside in states where the hearing aid coverage is state-mandated, you may need a little more research to know how much coverage they are required to provide. Liaise with your hearing healthcare provider they are often equipped to offer you some useful information and advice.
Insurance coverage, discount rates, and policies are always changing from time to time. Your insurance providers are your best financial advisers in this situation. They are always in the best position to inform you of what is attainable at the moment. They can also offer useful advice on the best plan that will be beneficial to you.
Online information and resource can offer some assistance when you’re looking for hearing aid financing assistance. This notwithstanding, the best place to access quality information for your hearing aid financing is from the local hearing aid expert.