Find help from free hearing aid programs.
Locate help with paying for hearing aids from government agencies, charities, and various non-profit organizations. The type of assistance offered will vary by program. Some resources will provide discounts or free hearing aid to low income clients. Other resources will provide direct financial aid for purchasing hearing aids or they will pay for any health insurance premiums or costs. In some cases insurance coverage can be arranged for those that qualify.
While some private or public health insurance plans may provide these devices to participants, this is not common. In fact, the federal government does not even require this type of assistance to be provided through Medicaid. Some states may offer limited supplemental coverage though. It is always a good idea to call your insurance carrier and see if there is any coverage available for hearing aids or assistive technology.
Free programs for children
If a child has some form of hearing loss, they may be able to receive assistance if their Individualized Education Program allows it. This will normally involve providing them with some form of free assistive technology. Much of this is regulated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. There are rules in place for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students.
While the terms may vary by state, the CHIP - Children's Health Insurance Program may offer children from uninsured and low income families with free or low cost hearing aids. This is offered as part of Medicaid and the terms will vary widely by region. Learn more on health insurance for children from CHIP.
State and federal government hearing aid programs
While the resources available will vary widely, some states will provide support to very low income families. This would be offered as part of their Medicaid coverage. However the federal government does not mandate this and the rules and coverage will differ by state.
More moderate income families may receive help with their medical bills, including hearing needs, from a so called medically needed program that is available in many counties. The best approach to take here is to call your local social service office to see what they may offer.
Low income, senior citizens and/or uninsured may be able to get help from state telephone equipment programs. The application process and resources dedicated to this will vary by state. They will provide different forms of financial assistance, have wide ranging eligibility requirements, and have other conditions in place. However, as funding allows, the telephone programs may offer discounts, free or low-cost equipment or hearing aids to income eligible residents.
State vocational rehabilitation agencies operate for the disabled, college students, or those that may lose their job due to a hearing issue. They will offer phones, hearing aids, testing, and other support. A focus is on those who may lose their job because of partial or complete hearing loss.
The federal government will also offer assistance to Veterans. The US Department of Veterans Affairs is involved in establishing this. They may qualify for assistance with hearing aids or some type of discount on assistive listening systems. Resources are available for both veterans as well as active-duty military service members and their families.
RALD is one program that is available. It is offered in partnership between the Military Audiology Association as well as Williams Sound. Qualified applications can receive free hearing aids or some other form of ALD - assistive listening devices.
Several states have a Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing that focuses on the needs of veterans. They may offer captioned telephones, text telephones, and other items.
Hearing aid loan programs operate in some states. These will provide audiologists with free hearing aids for children under a certain age. In some cases, senior citizens or the disabled may be qualified. Some of the loan programs may offer implant deductibles or other forms of support.
Medicare does not pay for this item. There is no government support to pay for exams for fitting hearing aids, check ups, hearing aids themselves, or tests. Some older adults may use additional, private insurance to fill this gap, but options are limited.
Those are just some of the public health care and government programs that may be able to help with hearing aid needs. Low income families, and in particular seniors, have several other options available to them. They include state and federal resources. Find public aid programs.
Hearing aids from non-profits and charities
Community clinics may sometimes have discounted or possibly even free hearing aids. Or if they don’t, then social workers from the centers can provide others forms of support to hard of hearing and/or deaf people. This can range from referrals to regional hearing aid banks, state assistive technology loan programs, sliding fee scale programs, and resources for the disabled. A clinic will have a number of resources for medical needs, including hearing. Click more information on free healthcare community clinics.
Senior centers can be a source of referrals and information. Staff and volunteers from the locations will coordinate workshops and hold information sessions. The elderly and their spouses can learn about grant programs, places to contact for hearing aids, and more.
There are some regulations that require government agencies, non-profit organizations, school, educational institutions, and employers to provide some form of access to communications. This may be required by state and federal government law in certain cases. Examples to this may be senior centers, mid-size to large employers, hospitals, and more. A place to learn more information on these laws is the Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center, and they can be reached at (800) 949-4232.
Many larger tows or cities will have civic organizations that can help with obtaining hearing aid. Some examples may be Kiwanis or Lions Club. They may also have referrals, information, and linkage to charities. Contact a Chamber of Commerce in your town for more details on civic organizations.
Regional and nationwide non-profits
Each of these offers there own form of assistance. Some give free hearing aids to very low income senior citizens, the disabled, or maybe a sick child. Other organizations help applicants apply for grants or they review a health insurance plan to see what may or may not be covered. The non-profits tend to be regional in nature though.
Audient Alliance a partner of the Northwest Lions Foundation for Sight & Hearing
Location of this non-profit is at 17870 Castleton St.
City of Industry, CA 91748
Children Of The Silent World – The non-profit provide assistance to children from low income families.
Disabled Children’s Relief Fund
Freeport, New York 11520
Dial (516) 377-1605
Families of a disabled children that are either under or uninsured can get help with their hearing needs.
Dorothy Ames Trust Fund
Augusta, ME 04332-1054
Main phone (207) 623-5527
The organization offers financial assistance in New England states only. They can get help with assistive technology, free or low cost hearing aids and other support.
230 West Monroe Street
Chicago, IL 60606
Hundreds of local charities are part of this organization. Seniors, low income adults, and children may receive rehabilitative devices, including hearing aids.
Foundation for Sight & Sound and the EarQ Group
Smithtown, NY 11787
Call (631) 366-3461 for information on their services.
Gift of Hearing Foundation
Main address is 95 Old Boston Neck Road
Narragansett, RI 02882
(617) 661-HEAR (4327)
The agency partners with doctors, optometrists, and hospitals. There may be financial aid for low income and economically disadvantaged patients for cochlear implants and other medical care needs.
6700 Washington Avenue South
Eden Prairie, MN 55344
Main phone number is 1-800-648-4327
Offers free gently used and/or recycled hearing aids.
33 E Idaho Ave #200
Meridian, ID 83642
While financial assistance is for low income families, including the elderly, the non-profit charity organization may provide either used or new hearing aids. They are mostly offered at a discounted or reduced cost.
Help Kids Hear.org
Offers referrals, information, and other support to parents of disabled children.
Hike Fund, Inc.
10115 Cherryhill Pl.
Spring Hill, FL 34608-7116
Hearing aids, assistive technology, free phones, and more is offered for children and teenagers under the age of 20.
Hope for Hearing Foundation and Hearing Aid Bank
Office location is 806 West Adams Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90007-2505
Toll-free number to call is (800) 522-4582
Help is for children and infants. Referrals, information on grant programs and public aid and more is offered.
Lions Club International
Main address: 300 West 22nd Street
Oak Brook, Illinois 60523-8842
Low income seniors and others can get help purchasing quality hearing aids.
5000 Cheshire Parkway N
Plymouth, MN 55446
Telephone - 1-800-234-5422
For those that are out of options, this non-profit is a last resource. Adults and children can both receive assistance.
Optimist International - Help Them Hear Program
Call 1-800-500-8130 for nearest club location.
1912 East Meyer Boulevard
Kansas City, MO 64132-9990
The organizations assists low-income, working poor and uninsured patients. Referrals to hearing aids programs, Medicaid, and more is available.
Starkey Hearing Foundation
6700 Washington Avenue South
Eden Prairie, Minnesota 55344
Tell free number - 800-328-8602
If an applicant has exhausted all other resources, then they may be able to help qualified families purchase hearing aids.
Travelers Protective Association Scholarship Trust for the Deaf and Near-deaf
Address: 3755 Lindell Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63108
For information, dial (314) 371-0533
Grants may be offered for assistive listening equipment, cochlear implants, or hearing aids. Other medical care or devices may be offered too, along with educational resources and workshops.