Hearing aids are essential devices when diagnosed with hearing loss. In Canada alone, more than four million adults have some degree of hearing loss. Treatment for hearing loss most commonly comes in the form of hearing aids – leaving individuals wondering what is covered through insurance, public and private programs.
Hearing aid coverage varies in Canada based on your location. It’s always recommended to check with your representative and hearing care provider to determine what to expect when scheduling an appointment. Once you have established your coverage, the first step will be scheduling a hearing test to determine if you have hearing loss and to what degree.
After undergoing testing to evaluate your hearing, your hearing instrument specialist (HIS) will recommend the best device for your specific lifestyle, aesthetic and hearing loss needs. The price of hearing aids varies based on the model, brand and features you select. Some wearers prefer a device that is easy to remove and packs powerful features, while others want something private that provides a natural listening experience.
When it comes time to select your hearing aids, your specialist will discuss with you the different coverage options available. Ontario, where Beck Hearing Aid Centre is located, has varying programs to assist with hearing-related issues.
Health Insurance and Hearing Aids
If you have private health insurance, either through your company or another provider, you can contact them to get more information about the coverage offered. However, what will you do if you don’t have a private health insurance provider?
Optimal hearing health is important to your everyday life, which is why there are various programs in place to ensure you obtain the devices you need.
Assistive Devices Program (ADP)
If you have been diagnosed with hearing loss, the next step is selecting compatible hearing aids and performing a fitting. While funding varies through private insurance groups, ADP in Ontario offers assistance for residents of any age.
In order to qualify for assistance through ADP, you must be a resident of Ontario, have a valid Ontario health card and have a disability that requires hearing device usage for at least six months or longer. Income is not considered when assessing qualifying residents. Additionally, some residents may not qualify if they already receive support from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) for the same hearing device. Also, ADP is not applicable for Group “A” veterans that already qualify or receive funding from Veteran Affairs Canada for the same hearing device.
What Types of Devices are Covered?
There are several different kinds of assistive devices covered when using ADP, including:
- Hearing aids
- FM systems
- Cochlear implants
- Bone-anchored hearing aids (BAHA)
- Teletypewriters for the deaf or speech-impaired
Your HIS will work closely with you to help you understand what devices will benefit your day-to-day life the most.
Coverage can be obtained for behind-the-ear (BTE), in-the-ear (ITE), partially-in-the-canal and completely-in-canal (CIC) hearing aids, as well as personal FM systems that contain a receiver worn by you and transmitter worn by the person speaking.
Once your application is approved and you qualify for this assistance, ADP will cover 75% of the cost of hearing aids up to a maximum amount of $500 for each type, and FM systems up to a maximum of $1,350. You will be responsible for the remaining costs after receiving this coverage.
For individuals that receive financial support from Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities, Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program, you can get up to 100% coverage for applicable technology.
Beck Hearing Aid Centre is registered with ADP and can help you complete the application form.
Are Replacements or Repairs Covered through ADP?
Replacements for equipment covered by ADP can only be made if your health condition has changed and the particular device no longer meets your needs, or if the technology is outdated, no longer covered by warranty and cannot be repaired for less than the purchase of a new aid. Costs associated with the replacement of a lost or neglected device will not be covered.
Workplace Safety and Insurance Board Coverage
The WSIB is in place to ensure workers with hearing loss caused by work-related events receive the proper care and devices they need to address these issues. WSIB partners with hearing care providers to offer coverage for individuals once it has been confirmed that the worker’s hearing loss is occupationally-related. WSIB offers a wide selection of advanced technology that allows the worker to get the devices needed to improve quality of life.
When selecting a hearing aid for WSIB coverage, claims will be filed through a primary category or the alternate category of devices. For technology listed in the primary category, no pre-approval will be needed for these specific models, the billing process is expedited and wearers are provided with a three-year warranty.
For individuals with needs that exceed the primary category, a device can be selected from the alternate list on a case-by-case basis. The provider will be required to submit a “Hearing Aid Special Needs Request” form to apply for a device in the alternate category.
Getting the Help You Need
When you have hearing loss, hearing aids provide a vital role in maintaining your overall wellbeing. The team at Beck Hearing Aid Centre is well-versed in providing you with not just the care and services you need, but also assistance in understanding your coverage, as well. To schedule an appointment with a hearing specialist or learn more, give our office a call at (888) 618-3778.