Two out of three hearing impaired non-users in Germany, United Kingdom and France do not know that they can get hearing aids for free or get a subsidy when they buy hearing aids, according to a survey carried out in Germany, England and France among the hearing impaired.
In the United Kingdom 69% of those who say that they are hearing impaired, and do not use hearing aids, are not aware that they can get publicly funded hearing aids through the NHS. 47% say that they do not know if they can get hearing aids through the NHS. 22% assume that there is no NHS support for hearing aids. Only 31% of the hearing impaired, who do not use hearing aids, know that they can get hearing aids through the NHS. The study shows that three out of four hearing impaired people in the UK have received their hearing aids through the NHS. The last quarter have got their hearing aids through private dispensers.
In Germany, 70% of those who say that they are hearing impaired, and do not use hearing aids, say that they do not know if one can receive third party payment for hearing aids when they buy them. 61% of those say that they did not know that and nine percent do not think that there is any such thing as third party payment. 79% of those who have received German hearing aids got subsidies for them.
In France, 57% of those who say that they have hearing loss say that they do not know if you can get subsidies for hearing aids. 31% of these do know if there is any such thing as third party payments, while 26% say that they do not know if there is any form of subsidy. Of those who received hearing aids, 52% received some kind of reimbursement.
More information needed
â€The study clearly shows, that in all three countries there is a need for better information for the hearing impaired about the economical terms for getting hearing aids,â€ says Secretary General SÃ¸ren Hougaard, EHIMA The European Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association.
â€œI can only encourage the business, the organisations for the hearing impaired as well as the authorities and the insurance companies to ensure better information for the hearing impaired. The lack of knowledge certainly keeps many away from getting hearing aids for economical reasons. This is unfortunate, especially when our survey shows, that hearing aids could improve their quality of life,â€ he says.
About the survey
The study, which was published in 2010, was carried out by the Swiss analysts Anovum on behalf of EHIMA, The European Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association. Around 15,000 people were involved in the study in Germany, France and England respectively and were asked about their hearing and use of hearing aids.