Funding Hearing Aids for Children

Purchasing hearing aids for children can be a financial challenge for parents. The following ideas, created by the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management at Utah State University (NCHAM), Early Childhood Hearing Outreach (ECHO) Project, offer tips and assistance to staff, teachers, and parents on obtaining hearing aids for children.

 

Funding Hearing Aids for Children

NCHAM's Eearly Childhood Hearing Outreach (ECHO) Project offers some ideas for possible assistance with funding:

1. State Medicaid Programs

Many state’s Medicaid programs provide some level of coverage for hearing aids. Be sure to contact your state for specifics regarding coverage.

In Utah for example, the Medicaid program pays $500.00 for a monaural fitting and $800.00 for a binaural fitting (these amounts are for analog hearing aids only). They will pay more for digital hearing aids depending upon prior authorization. The prior authorization must include a speech/language evaluation demonstrating speech and language delays, which may be helped by digital technology.

2. University Audiology Training Programs

Training programs in your state often have programs where they provide refurbished hearing aids. Commonly called “HARP - Hearing Aid Refurbishing Program," these are programs that take in used and broken hearing aids and have them repaired. They then fit the child and the family is charged only for the costs incurred in the repair process. These programs are a very good deal for families. Be sure to contact the training programs in your state and see what they have to offer.

3. State Health Departments

In many states, the State Health Department’s division of speech, vision and hearing services often have assistance programs. In most cases they collect used and broken hearing aids, have them repaired and then fit them on new patients. Be sure to contact your State Health Department to see what they offer.

4. HEAR NOW
    Suite 300 9745 E Hampton Ave.
    Denver, CO 80231-4923
    1-800-648-4327

HEAR NOW serves all ages nationwide with hearing impairment. Provides hearing aids, cochlear implants and related services to children. Eligibility for HEAR NOW is based on financial need and hearing loss that can be improved with amplification.

They conduct two programs. One is their “subscriber program.” This program functions to support smaller community-based hearing aid bank programs. They also maintain a national registry of existing community based hearing aid assistance programs so their staff can refer individuals to sources of help within their own communities.

The other option is the “Hearing Aid program,” in which the audiologist has to become "a[n] associate". Associates are people who have agreed to fit HEAR NOW clients with the provided hearing aids. They have access to new hearing aids as well as reconditioned aids. Applications for assistance are available by calling 1-800-648-4327.

5. Miracle Ear Foundation
    P.O. Box 59261
    Minneapolis, MN 55459
    1-800-234-5422

Provides hearing aids to children under 16 years of age with hearing loss. Contact for guidelines and program requirements.

6. The Starkey Hearing Foundation

http://www.sotheworldmayhear.org/hearnow/

Provides hearing aids to needy individuals free of charge. Contact them through their website.

7. Children’s Hospitals

Your local children’s hospital will most likely have a comprehensive Audiology department. They will be well networked with local, state and national resources for hearing aids. For example, our local children's hospital fits hearing aids on a “no interest“ low payment plan. They work out a payment the family can make and then allow them to pay for as long as they need to with no interest. The staff also accesses the above foundations and other resources. You may be able to work something out like this with your local hospitals/clinics.

Funding Hearing Aids for Children. NCHAM/ECHO Project. 2008. English.

Last Reviewed: November 2009

Last Updated: November 13, 2014