Doctor of Audiology

Funding Your Hearing Device: Some Options

Funding Your Hearing Device: Some Options

As you probably know if you’ve read our post Are Hearing Devices (and Hearables) Always Covered by Insurance?, funding a medically-necessary hearing device can unfortunately be difficult for people in certain situations.
For one, most health insurance policies don’t cover hearing aids, and neither does Medicare. The latter can be hard to believe considering the fact that old age is highly correlated with increased risk of hearing loss, but alas, these are the circumstances we find ourselves in. These funding difficulties are almost certainly a part of the reason why only 30% of the 33 million Americans with hearing loss currently use a hearing aid.
If you do find yourself in need of a hearing aid and don’t have the funds to purchase one outright, here are some creative options for getting this crucial piece of medical equipment.

Utilize the Hearing Aid Tax Credit (when it becomes available)

This proposed bill would provide a tax credit of up to $500 per hearing device ($1,000 if two are needed, one for each ear) once every 5 years, for those making less than $200,000 a year. This credit could also be used by persons over 55 years of age for the purchase of a hearing aid. To check on the latest progress of the bill as well as contacting your legislator, visit this page.

Flexible Spending Accounts

Many employers offer a Flexible Spending Account that allows individuals to put money away for medical expenses directly from their paycheck. These funds are contributed on a pre-tax basis, which effectively saves the individual 15% to 25% on medical costs, depending on his or her income bracket. In 2017, the contribution limit was $2,600 per individual.
The trick is that it may take a while to save up a significant amount of money in an FSA, so if you have a hearing test that uncovers the need for a hearing aid, you would have to already have the money put away to get the device right away. Still, if you don’t have any other options, you could wait until your FSA account grows sufficiently, and then get the hearing aid you need with pre-tax earnings.

Creative Financing

Chicago Hearing Services is proud to offer 0% APR for 12 months for qualified individuals. It makes it easier for patients to get the hearing aid they need right away and then be able to pay it off over time. This works in the same way as 0% APR on a car purchase or any other large purchase where the manufacturer has an interest in helping people afford it.
If no such options are available, those with good credit may want to consider private financing options. Many credit card companies offer cards with 0% financing for a certain term, sometimes up to two years. That may give you plenty of time to pay off the cost with no extra interested added on. However, those taking that option should be very careful to ensure they can pay off the cost within that time so they don’t have to pay the typically high interest rates that follow.
Lastly, speak with Chicago Hearing Services and Dr. Vetter. There are many alternatives that may help reduce the cost of hearing aids. We have hearing aids that begin at $500 and with different service plans, this can reduce the patient’s cost greatly.
Have a question about how to finance your hearing aid? We’re here to help! Contact us today to discuss!

About Dr. Marie Vetter-Toalson Au.D.

Dr. Marie Vetter-Toalson Au.D. is the owner of Chicago Hearing Services and a Doctor of Audiology dedicated to empowering her patients and the public with greater knowledge and education around hearing health.