Hearing loss is among the most prevalent conditions affecting older Americans, and studies have proven that treating hearing loss with hearing aids improves the hearing as well as overall quality of life.
However, hearing aids, which cost, on average, between $1,000 and $5,000 per device, are out of reach for most of the 36 million Americans with hearing loss. This fact was reiterated last year by a working group sponsored by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD).
Statistics show that while 95 percent of people with hearing loss can be helped by hearing aids, only 23 percent currently use them. Many others can’t afford the cost. Hearing aids are not reimbursed by either private insurance plans or Medicare and over 70 percent of hearing aids are paid for by the consumers themselves.
The NIDCD issued a list of recommendations for further research into the accessibility and affordability of hearing healthcare, but no immediate solutions have been outlined.
To read more about NIDCD’s recommendations on affordable hearing healthcare, visit: Hearing Healthcare For All – So Close Yet So Far .