Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Hearing Aid Insurance

The Need for Hearing Aid Insurance

Hearing aids, that work by amplifying sounds and directing the amplified signal to the ears, are indispensable for people suffering from loss of hearing. These electronic devices help people by altering sounds, thus providing the necessary auditory effect. However, these devices cannot help people who have problems in the inner ear. Both adults and children can be affected by loss of hearing. Hearing aid insurance, that covers the cost of replacing the damaged or lost hearing aid, is a must because of the following reasons.

Expensive: Hearing aids are expensive devices that can cost between $1500 and $4000. There are many kinds of hearing aids available in the market. These aids can fit in the ear, in the ear canal or behind the ear. The latest model, known as Open-Fit Mini BTE (Behind the Ear), is best suited for people who feel conscious about their appearance being affected by the use of a hearing aid. Hearing aids offering a superior performance cost a great deal of money.

Lack of Coverage: Although the Federal program, Medicare, covers certain medical expenses for people over the age of 65, the cost of the hearing aid is not covered under this program. Again, private insurance companies do not cover the cost of hearing aids since hearing aids do not fall under the category of prosthetic devices. Since 2008, Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) provides hearing aid benefit to the dependent children of federal employees.

Easily Damaged:
Hearing aids are small devices that can be damaged by earwax and ear drainage. They are not water resistant and can break easily, if stepped on. Thus, hearing aids are expensive devices that have to be procured by a person without any financial assistance from insurance companies. The very fact that they can get damaged easily, makes hearing aid insurance a must for people who have invested a great deal of money in order to supplement their hearing prowess, a gift we so often take for granted.

Hearing Aid Insurance

Federal Employee Hearing Aid Insurance: Since 1st January, 2009, hearing aid insurance is provided as a part of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). This coverage is meant to include federal employees, retirees and their families. It is hoped, that this move would encourage private insurance companies to extend health insurance to include hearing aid benefits.

Private Insurance Companies: Most insurance companies do not provide hearing aid insurance as a part of the health insurance plans. A few companies, that provide this facility, charge an additional premium. Thankfully, there are insurance programs that address the need for hearing aid insurance. The companies that offer hearing aid insurance, provide coverage for replacing the hearing aid on account of loss or accidental damage. Electronic failures and amplification problems, on account of normal wear and tear, are also included. Of course, a comprehensive coverage would require additional premium payments.

Hearing aid insurance is a must once the warranty period of the hearing aid expires. Usually, hearing aids come with a one year warranty. During this period, the user is insured against loss and damage. Some hearing aids may come with a warranty period of 2-3 years. Once the warranty period expires, it's the users responsibility to opt for a suitable hearing aid insurance policy.