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USA

USA

Organisation and finance

In the USA hearing-impaired people typically pay for their hearing aids themselves, as the United States has a very limited public hearing health care system.

Health insurance companies - which form a vital part of the medical sector in the United States - usually do not cover costs incurred in connection with hearing impairment, including the issuing of hearing aids. However, a number of states have implemented state mandates for coverage of hearing aids by private insurer. Because the regulations and the market are constantly changing, those in the market for a hearing aid should check the regulations in their local area.

Medicare - the primary national insurance company for elderly people - does not cover hearing aids. This is also the case for most of the private insurance companies.

People who are hard of hearing can seek funding from veterans administrations, state rehabilitation services, special programmes for people on low income, fraternal organisations such as Lions Club, funds and programmes for disabled children or other specialised organisations.

Testing and treatment

As the American market is private; all users have to consult a hearing health care professional for evaluation and fitting (such as an audiologist or a hearing aid dispenser). Organisations for hearing-impaired people can give advice about choosing a supplier or about hearing aid fitting. The hearing health care professional typically dispenses different types of hearing aids at different price levels. Users pay for batteries. Service comes under normal customer/warranty terms.

Waiting lists

Waiting lists are rarely a problem, except for those people on low incomes who have to rely on help from the public health system.

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