Sunday, April 6, 2008

Health Coverage for Hard of Hearing

Karen, my fellow blogger wrote in blog about an issue that effected me over the years. You can read more about it at her blog: Insurance Companies Don't Cover Hearing Aids--Let's Change That This blog is geared for citizens who lives in Illinois.

For the longest time, in Ohio, most health insurance companies do not cover hearing-aids. Last year or the year before, it was added to my health insurance but only up to $1,500 lifetime and other conditions.

Mine costs almost $6,000 for two. I had to take a loan out so interest was added. My insurance only paid about $900 while Columbus Speech and Hearing was nice enough to allow me to pay the differences between my loan and insurance that was remaining in payment plan.

While there were good coverages for people who needed wheelchair and similar devices. My daughter had a nice non-electric wheel chair that was covered by my insurance.

I know many health insurance do not cover vision but I have vision coverage through my work which I am thankful for.

On February 3rd of this year, I wrote in my blog titled: Attending a movie with new hearing-aids where I explained my experience in purchasing the hearing aids.
When I first purchased my hearing-aids over the summer in which I waited for ten years to do because I could not afford them. I worked with Columbus Speech & Hearing's accountants and my insurance company to figure out how much I need to get a loan.

Once I was told what I need to get a loan for (we got this information from my insurance company), I got the loan and paid for my hearing aids. It turns out that my insurance company didn't tell me a tiny detail about how much I had to pay. Therefore, in turn I have to pay the difference so I worked with Columbus Speech and Hearing that we would pay as much as we could until it is paid for (i.e. $25 a month). They accepted after many confused attempts in communication with support staff, the administration didn't realized I was in a bind until they received my email about my problem. They quickly resolved and changed the procedure to make sure that their staff go through proper procedure through administration to resolve anything that could not be solved.

I was pleased because I have been going to Columbus Speech & Hearing Center for over 25 years and even supported them by donating money from my paychecks. Now, that I feel better and love supporting Columbus Speech & Hearing Center.
A few years ago, a mother of a deaf child was lobbying in State of Ohio to have insurance companies add hearing-aids as part of the health insurance coverage in Ohio and I don't know what happened. I can't find my notes so I will have to do some research and find out what's going on with that.


eradigm said...

I agree that hearing aids should be part of health coverage or at least a tax deductible expense. For some of us, hearing aids help us in our jobs, in daily communication, and many other reasons.

What's the best way to organize a lobbying movement to make this happen? Anyone know?


Where in the world is my hearing aid?

whimsical brainpan said...

It is inexcusable that insurance does not cover hearing aids!

my life with bipolar disorder said...

It will be good if insurance cover hearing aids and other medical needs you may have. It is so costly!

Karen said...

Thanks for sharing, Jim! It would be great to change this on a federal level rather than state by state. I suggested to our team that we get insurance companies to recognize hearing aids as a prosthesis, but I also learned that not all insurance companies cover prosthetic devices...