Aging is a complex and often difficut transition. We find that we need reading glasses when we used to have perfect vision. There are also traumas that can cause health issues that affect our living; not just the aging process. Hearing is one of those issues, when we begin to notice that we don’t hear as well and clearly as we used to. A hearing aid used to be prescribed by a doctor and often required approval from insurance companies. Now things are getting a bit easier for those who are dealing with hearing loss. The senate has passed a bill so that hearing aids can now be purchased over the counter to those in need.
There are many things that will make this process easier and more accessible, one, being money. Now that you can purchase hearing aids without a prescription, there can be competition that will allow one to choose which brand and style of hearing aid is best for their budget. When a prescription eas needed there was no room for competition, it was like a medicine, Big Pharma had its grip on the product and could really charge any price they choose to. Now those with smaller budgets and no insurance can still help thier hearing loss by purchasing their own, over the counter.
According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, over 48 million people suffer from some form of hearing loss and 80 per cent of those who truly need the devices are not using them due to lack of co-pays and insurance costs. Budget is a huge issue when it comes to health problems that otherwise could be more esily solved. Particularly, in the U.S. there are too many people dealing with health problems that have simple solutions but instead are extremely complex and expensive.
The average cost of a hearing aid device is $2300, which is why most people who need them don’t have them. Medicare and many insurance companies will not even cover the cost of most hearing devices. One can see how two thousand dollars can be an out-of-reach price tag for many people who are in need of a hearing aid. The price almost turns the device into a luxury item only for the wealthy who could afford the hearing device with out-of-pocket money. Something that affects so many people due to trauma and aging, should not be a luxury but should be available in some form to all who need it. This bill hopes to make that situation possible.