Organisation and finance
In Spain, the National Health System sets a list of standard services on offer to people with disabilities, including the supply of hearing aids. However, each autonomous community administers its own subsidy system, including the standard services and regulates the actual financial benefits available each year and the requirements needed to be entitled to them.
From 0 to 16 years of age, the health insurance compensation is set at an average of â‚¬700 for each separate hearing aid, depending on the specific autonomous community. This includes economic support for the hearing mould.
From 16 to 65 years of age, the hearing impaired person can also benefit from public support when meeting the necessary requirements. The subsidy also varies depending on the specific autonomous community.
In some other regions, there are subsidies for people over the age of 65.
In addition, it is possible to receive a total or partial reimbursement for hearing aids through an insurance policy that specifically covers hearing impairment from one of the private health insurance companies.
There are also some foundations and organisations for the hearing impaired which provide subsidies, discounts or even donations for hearing aids and subsequent accessories.
Testing and treatment
Hearing impaired patients normally go directly to a private hearing health care professional, and to a lesser extend to an ENT specialist, who will then perform audiometric tests and the fitting of the hearing aid.
To be eligible for the public subsidy, the hearing impaired person must receive a prescription for a hearing aid from an ENT doctor.
Waiting lists for hearing aids are unheard of in Spain.
Types of hearing aids
The public subsidy system has no restrictions as to which types of hearing aids are subsidised. However, if the cost of a hearing aid recommended by the hearing health professional is higher than the fixed subsidy, the patient must cover the difference.
Batteries and service
Batteries, repairs and other types of equipment must be paid for by the users themselves. There are no public subsidies to cover these expenses anywhere in the country.