Hearing is one of my most acute senses- maybe it’s because I’m a mom? Or maybe just because I love to listen to music? When I was pregnant, I listened to music daily and I even read stories to my belly at bedtime. I truly believe that my son loves to read and loves music because that is what he has always heard.
My husband has congenital hearing loss. I can tell you so many stories about how that has affected his life, our life, our marriage, our son’s life. We tend to make light of it and deal with it the best we can. Why do we deal with it? Hearing Aids are TOO EXPENSIVE. Our insurance never covered hearing aids for years. Now it does, but only partial payment of one hearing aid. Don’t worry, there is something YOU can do if you don’t have hearing insurance.
I think the biggest obstacle to my hubby getting a hearing aid is not just the cost, but the stigma that goes along with wearing a hearing aid. Even though they are tiny and hardly noticeable anymore, they still say “you’re so old you need a hearing aid.” At least, that’s my hubby’s perception. His sister and mom both have the same hearing loss. They have all had ear surgery multiple times to try to restore their hearing but to no avail.
His sister has finally given in and gotten hearing aids. His mom has been wearing hearing aids for years, but sometimes they make things worse. She has a hard time hearing him on the phone and will sometimes just agree to whatever he says. This is very difficult for her. She may be 85, but she is the peppiest and most adventurist MIL I know. She recently went “camping” with her new gentleman friend. Nothing stops her independence.
What Should You Do?
So what should you do if someone you love starts experiencing hearing loss? First, call your doctor and find out what you should do. They may send you to an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist to do some hearing tests. From there, you will be advised on what to do.
What if you or your loved one needs a hearing aid? Have you ever seen how much they cost? Did you know the cost of a hearing aid can range from $1,500 to $5,000. Unfortunately, most health insurance plans DO NOT cover the cost of hearing aids. You might have vision insurance, dental insurance… but NOT hearing insurance.
What can YOU do? Visit your HR department to find out if you have insurance (medical or supplemental) that covers:
- Visits to an audiologist for a complete diagnostic evaluation at least every two years for adults and annually for children
- Coverage of hearing aid treatment
If hearing health is NOT a covered benefit for you… you can take a stand and request a change.
EPIC has created an advocacy flyer that anyone can just share to start a conversation with their HR professional.
Download it at: http://www.epichearing.com/listenhear/resources/
Hearing is one of the most valuable senses for babies, kids and adults. Be sure to guard against hearing loss. What do you do for your OWN hearing health?