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 Hearing Aids

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Posts : 3
Join date : 2010-03-05
Age : 75

PostSubject: Hearing Aids   Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:55 pm

Does anyone know if Medicare covers hearing tests and/or securing hearing aids?
I was told that Medicare does not cover either. What a shame!

Can anyone help.


(I've also heard that it is possible for an illegal alien to get a free hearing aid, and I wonder why that is. Unless it is just B.S.)
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Posts : 30
Join date : 2008-02-15

PostSubject: This might help   Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:58 pm

You might call "Your Lifeline."
The "Your Lifeline" information should have been enclosed with your 2010 Benefits information, etc., that was sent to you a week or so ago.

Also, maybe the following will help you in some way or another....

Step 1 Recognize that you need help to get the hearing aid. This means accepting your limitations as a person.
Grab a pad of paper (legal size) and a pencil. We are going hearing aid shopping. If you have a computer with internet access --then you can start the search for answers right at home. But if you don't have a computer, grab any and all phone books in your house. You will need these to find out where to go.
Step 2 Turn to the section in the phone book for audiologists. Your second step should be to have a professional who knows hearing expectations and who can help you find out what the bottom line is on how well you really hear. You do not want to select a commercial group to go to for this important step. Select an individual firm without being singularly focused on one brand of hearing aid. Pick out five to six names. Then start calling them. There are questions to ask when you talk to them.
Step 3 You need to ask if they accept your health insurance for the hearing test. Some places will offer free exam on initial consultation. If they don't, find out from your insurance company what you need to do to get your cash in hand back from the transaction. (i.e. complete claims paperwork or pre-authorization)
Also you need to find out if they cater to all types of hearing aid types: digital, computer-programmed, analog, or bilateral. Each of these types of aids address specific hearing losses. Let's face it, no one type of hearing loss is the same as another's.
Then schedule your appointment for the examination being sure to ask for an audiogram.
Step 4 Now you have a hearing exam appointment, you will need to prepare yourself for the next step in the long road to a hearing aid. You should also call your family physician and have him/her do a physical for your documentation of the hearing loss. Your family doctor hopefully has known you a long enough time to determine whether this loss is new or not.
His recommendations for a hearing aid will help expedite the need to get one. Have him write you a letter outlining the extent of your health issues and the emotional effects of having the loss occur.
Step 5 All right! Now where to get the hearing aid from? How to pay for it? If you don't have the money to pay for a hearing aid, don't panic yet.
Ask yourself: do I work full-time? if so, then you have just found your first resource. The state you live in has an agency called the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services. This resource will be listed under the government pages for your state in the phone book. Look for the words: vocational rehabilitation and add your state's name into the search pattern too (if using a computer web browser).
The listed phone numbers will usually include specific office types: (i.e. Visually impaired, Hearing impaired, Deaf, Blind with Hearing Loss, Mobility impaired). Select the office that handles your specific issue and call to set up an appointment with them for evaluation. This appointment is done in two steps usually.
First they have you come in for an initial consultation to show them the documentation you gathered in the earlier steps. Bring all medical records, your Social Security card, your health insurance card, birth certificate, and some form of picture identification. They will make copies of it all for your records with them.
A few weeks or months later, they will have you come back after determining the urgency of your rehabilitation needs. This time, you will go through an orientation of their services and what will take place over the next few weeks or months to get you into a hearing aid. Take notes;they also provide tips on where to go. Jot those down too.
Step 6 So now you have been to an audiologist, the family doctor, and the Vocational Rehabilitation. Take the time to sit back and assess exactly what you want Vocational Rehabilitation Services to provide for you. They are a comprehensive service. There is the acquisition of medical technology to meet the disability's need for correction, job placement services (if you lose your job due to your disability), retraining you so you can adapt to the workplace with your disability, and services to help you emotionally with the loss. A counselor will be assigned to help you determine what you really need. That visit sets everything else in motion.
Step 7 Next you need to take the audiogram that you got, examine the final diagnosis. I highly recommend every individual to research the hearing aid manufacturers that handle the type of hearing loss you have. There are so many hearing aid manufacturers out there trying to make the "Big Buck". What you need and what they sell can sometimes not mesh together. So consider your audiologist's recommendations but do your own research into the instruments they are recommending. Most of the hearing aid manufacturers have their own website and a report card on the success of their products. (some company names are: Audiovox, Phonak (excellent), Miracle Ear, Belker, and the list goes on.
Step 8 Now you are ready to consider the purchase. Where does the money come from? Well, if you are employed fulltime but live at poverty level; you could become eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation sponsorship of the cost of the hearing aid. That is determined at the first two meetings you go to with them.
Now if you aren't eligible because you 1) don't work or 2) are an illegal alien; then you have an added step.
You will need to document why you don't work; if you are on welfare, then Medicare can help. The details of that help is outlined on their website through the Social Security Administration.
Then again, if you are an illegal alien or otherwise not eligible for these options, consider this: there are private concerns/companies that aid people to achieve their goals. Your goal: to hear well enough again to remain a functional and productive citizen.
Step 9 Here is where you need that pad of paper and pencil I mentioned earlier to you. Turn to social organizations in the phone book or else, type the words into your web browser. It should list anything from Boys Scouts to Lion's Club, Fraternal Order of whatever, Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., and etc. The list is pretty long. Now think for a minute.
Did you participate in any of the programs like Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Boys and Girls Clubs, or does anyone in your family belong to a fraternal organization like the Lions' Eye Bank?
Any and all associations can and might offer relief to those who don't have the cash on hand to purchase the hearing aid.
Now you have a personal list of places to go; type a letter of explanation about your new disability, be sure to cite the difficulties you are now experiencing; also list the name of the professionals who have documented your loss so they can contact them.
Finally, thank them for their time in reading your request. Sign, seal and mail the letter to any and all names you wrote down on the pad. Now you wait. What ?? Wait? oh, yeah I forgot...there is more you can do but not here in this article. Check out my article "In The Meantime, Waiting Has Benefits"


If you do get any help or have success, please post the assistance/success you received for the benefit of other Citi retirees.

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Posts : 3
Join date : 2010-03-05
Age : 75

PostSubject: Thank you   Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:56 pm

Thank you for your reply.
I did call "Your Lifeline" on 3/8/2010 and told them I was trying to find a "cheap" way to have hearing tests and if necessary securing a hearing aid. Lady said she would check into it and call me back. No call back, as yet.

I now have hear that Citi might offer discounted hearing aid and tests. Will have to check into that. Of course, it would be added to my yearly benefits. Similar, I believe, to the eyeglass benefit.
Does anyone know for sure if Citi offers hearing discount program?
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Posts : 30
Join date : 2008-02-15

PostSubject: FYI   Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:01 pm

You might check your 2010 Medicare & You book, page 31. It reads:

"Part B - Covered Services:
Hearing and Balance Exams: If your doctor orders it to see if you need medical treatment.
You pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount, and the Part B deductible applies.

Note: Medicare doesn't cover hearing aids and exams for fitting hearing aids."

If anyone knows differently, please post your add your message to this thread.

Old age comes at a bad time.
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