The first recommendation of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) report Hearing Health Care for Adults: Priorities for Improving Access and Affordability is to “Improve population-based information on hearing loss and hearing health care.” In short, we need more information and data about hearing loss to have a better understanding of, at a minimum, risk factors associated with hearing loss, hearing health care needs, and the impact of hearing loss and its treatment on health, function, economic productivity and quality of life.
On December 1, 2016, Senate Bill S.9 was introduced by Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to provide for the regulation of over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids. The “Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2016” would make certain types of hearing aids available over the counter and remove many of the barriers for consumers who could benefit from hearing aids.
From Linda Heller, HLAA Wilmington (Delaware) Chapter President
Dear Members and Friends of HLADE,
I am pleased to report that Governor Markell signed House Bill (HB) 402, Delaware's "hearing loop education bill" into law on July 19, 2016! Delaware, we believe, is only the second state in the country to have this law, and we are sure other states will follow.
“Hearing aids are essential to enable millions of people with hearing loss to fully engage with family, friends and colleagues.” - Anna Gilmore Hall, executive director, HLAA
The number one call for help that HLAA receives – via phone, email and in person – is financial assistance for the purchase of hearing aids. One son called for mom who is in her 80’s, who had two hearing aids until they both died at the same time. They were struggling to find a way to replace them. Most seniors who age into their hearing loss are simply floored when they learn that Medicare does not cover the cost of hearing aids.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law in March 2010 by President Barack Obama. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the law’s goal is to make health insurance available and affordable to people and small groups, such as employees of small businesses and organizations, who are uninsured. While some provisions of the law have already taken effect, many more provisions will be implemented in the coming years.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is interested in gathering more information about hearing aid compatible (HAC) phones.