4 Ways to Budget for Hearing Aids
You might be surprised to find that hearing loss is more common than we would like to imagine. Not only is it an inevitable part of aging, but the condition is also becoming increasingly common in the younger populace. Recent statistics provided by the World Health Organization reveal that the average teenager is at a high risk of hearing loss due to lifestyle choices.
Perhaps the most agitating part of having hearing loss is finding that most private health insurance companies do not cover the cost of hearing aids. The extremely high prices of hearing aids and assistive technology constitute the final blow when it comes to affording hearing aids. However, even if you find that you don’t have the means to buy hearing aids, there are several ways you can still afford them.
1. Bunch hearing healthcare costs together
Hearing loss is often not a one-time expense. It comes with several hearing screenings, tests, hearing aid purchases and multiple hearing aid battery expenses. These often account to a very high amount when accumulated. But with a little bit of planning and organization, you can actually benefit from these costs.
Any tax accountant would tell you that if your healthcare costs exceed seven-and-a-half percent of your adjusted gross income, you can qualify for deducting these costs from your federal income taxes if you itemize. Most of the time, the costs incurred because of hearing loss do not amount up to this threshold. However, if you can somehow bunch them together and incur them in the same year, you may reach the standard of seven-and-a-half percent and deduct the cost of hearing aids and related expenses from your federal income tax.
2. Enroll in your employer’s medical spending account
If your employer has a medical flexible spending account, you may enroll in it to make some real savings. Many employers let you contribute a proportion of your pretax income to a medical flexible spending account. You can use the proceeds in this account to make hearing healthcare related purchases, such as hearing aids and batteries, as well as other healthcare expenses. By setting aside a portion of your pretax income in such a plan and using the funds to buy hearing aids and batteries, you can reap effective savings of substantial nature.
3. Try to get refurbished hearing aids
Because hearing aids are often very expensive, costing between $1,000-5,000 per piece, they are also highly durable and last very long. This is good news for people who can’t afford brand new hearing aids because this means you can get your hands on cheaper, refurbished hearing aids to meet your needs. There are multiple organizations, like Hear Now and Sertoma, which collect hearing aids from donors across the US and refurbish them to be used again by people who need them.
4. Try a state Medicaid program
Many people with limited means are eligible for Medicaid programs that provide hearing aids. You can book an appointment with your county’s social services to meet with an official who would determine if you qualify for Medicaid and eventually for the program under which you receive hearing aids.