This is a very common question from people who call Hearing Professionals. In Australia this is a difficult question to answer, due to number of schemes that provided financial assistance to people with hearing loss to help cover the costs of hearing aids. Here we will discuss the main avenues for financial assistance.
While entry level hearing aids are free to pensioners, a 'privately funded' client can spend up to $10,000 on a pair of premium hearing aids with all the latest advanced features.
But what will be the true 'out of pocket' investment for a client will come down to a number of factors, such as: -
Assistance with the cost of hearing aids
- Is the client a pensioner or an active or retired member of the armed services (i.e. Army, Navy or Air Force)?
- Does the client have private health insurance?
- Does the client have a taxable income and lodge a tax return?
- Has the client's hearing loss occurred as a result of occupational exposure to noise?
- Does the client have a binaural loss (two ears) or monaural hearing loss (one ear)
- The severity and pattern of the hearing loss will influence the Audiologist's recommendation
- The client's budget
FREE hearing aids for pensioners and veterans
Ensuring that every Australian has access to better hearing is one of the federal government's key health priorities. The Office of Hearing Services Voucher Scheme provides free hearing tests and hearing aids to pensioners and veterans, which are available through accredited providers such as Hearing Professionals.
Who is eligible?
You are eligible if you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident, 21 years of age and over, meeting one of the following criteria:
- Centrelink Pensioner Concession Card
- Gold Health Repatriation Card
- White Health Repatriation Card (specifying hearing loss)
- Centrelink Sickness Allowance
You may also be eligible if you are:
- Dependent of a person in one of the above categories
- Active member of the Defence Force
- Client of CRS Australia
To learn more about the Office of Hearing Services Voucher Scheme, click here.
Private health funds
|MBF||$1000 per aid every 3 years||131 137||www.mbf.com.au|
|Medibank Private||$800 per annum total for aids. Aids can be replaced every five years.||132 331||www.medibank.com.au|
|NRMA||$1000 per aid every 3 years||133 234||www.nrma.com.au/pub/nrma/health|
|NIB||$800 per aid every 3 years||13 14 63||www.nib.com.au|
|HCF||$800 per aid every 5 years||13 14 39||www.hcf.com.au|
Hearing Professionals recommend that you check with own health insurer to learn what benefits are available.
Many private health funds offer rebates on the cost of hearing aids for their extras and premium plans. At the time of printing, the rebates above applied to five of Australia's largest health insurers on their premium plans.
Tax rebates on hearing aids
The government has exempted hearing aids from GST and provide a tax rebate of 20% on annual medical expenses in excess of $1500. This could lead to a rebate of over $1,500 for advanced hearing solutions for clients who lodge a tax return.
Compensation for occupational hearing loss
Until recent times, the damage caused by working in noisy environments was not fully appreciated by many companies. As a result, Australians working in factories, the building industry, mining industry, and other noisy workplaces were rarely provided with ear protection and hundreds of thousands of people have subsequently incurred occupational hearing loss.
The state government provide a scheme for employees who have incurred occupational hearing loss with access to compensation, which includes hearing aids and rehabilitation. This scheme is administered by Worksafe Victoria. You can read more about Workers Compensation for Hearing Loss here.
Hearing Professionals are accredited to supply hearing services and hearing aids under all of the schemes discussed above and will happily discuss with you your potential eligibility, as well as preparing the necessary paperwork to submit a claim. Simply call us 1300 768 108 or Make an Appointment we can take it from there!