As everyone knows, hearing aid coverage under Essential Health Benefits is critical to Americans to ensure that hearing aids do not become the new status symbol for the rich. Right now, they are.
Congressman Cartwright has sponsored HR 3150 to cover hearing aids under Medicare. Here is a link to the bill. We need for everyone to contact their Congressmember and Senator to ensure hearing aids are covered under Medicare. This will also make it easier to cover hearing aids under EHB. I hope we can count on your support.
Janice Schacter Lintz
Hearing Access Program
Here's how to find your congressman: http://www.house.gov
HLAA has been active in supporting this bill. To read about their activities, here's a link.
And here's a sample letter. It's much effective if you personalize it. It doesn't have to be long and it can be sent by email or regular mail:
I write to you today to express my support for H.R. 3150, the Help Extend Auditory Relief Act of 2013, introduced by Representative Matt Cartwright (PA-17). Nearly 17% of all Americans report some sort of hearing loss, including a third of all individuals over the age of 65. A study conducted by the National Council on Aging (NCOA) found that individuals over 50 years of age suffering from hearing loss were more likely to suffer from depression, anger, emotional instability, and were less likely to participate in social activities.
For many people, hearing aids are a simple solution. They are dependable, nearly invisible and can significantly improve quality of life. Unfortunately, without the benefit of insurance coverage, hearing aids and related hearing services can be prohibitively expensive. Currently, Medicare Part B only covers hearing rehabilitation services for cases caused by an illness or accident. Progressive, age-related hearing loss is not covered, leaving many seniors to pay for their own hearing exams and hearing aids. Hearing aids are incredibly expensive, ranging from $600 to over $5,000 each. These high price tags discourage many seniors from seeking a very basic solution that could dramatically improve their lives.
The Help Extend Auditory Relief Act of 2013 would help America’s seniors by amending the Social Security Act to include Medicare coverage for hearing rehabilitation, including hearing tests and hearing aids. Under H.R. 3150, Medicare recipients could receive a comprehensive audiology assessment to determine if a hearing aid is appropriate, a threshold test to determine audio acuity, and various services associated with fitting, adjusting, and using hearing aids.
I urge you to co-sponsor The Help Extend Auditory Relief Act to improve the health and quality of life for many seniors. Please become a cosponsor of this important bill today. You can contact Brian Payne in Rep. Cartwright’s office at Brian.Payne@mail.house.gov.