Many people find themselves with hearing loss as they age. Luckily, hearing aids are an excellent solution. Unfortunately, aids can be quite expensive, and sometimes even beyond the financial reach of many people.
There is a bill now in committee in Congress designed to help people pay for hearing aids. Several organization have been campaigning for the bill, including the National Association of the Deaf and the Better Hearing Institute. The legislation involves the introduction of a tax credit up to the amount of $500 towards the purchase of a hearing aid that health insurance does not cover. The credit would be for the parents of children suffering hearing loss and for adults who are over 55. Those in these two categories also need to earn under $200,000 annually.
Although this seems like a reasonable tax credit, the bill is stuck in committee and is estimated to have a 0% chance of passage.
There are a few organizations trying other methods to get hearing aids to more people that need them. One of them, the Kentucky Assistive Technology Network, collects used hearing aids, cleans and refurbishes them, and then hands them out to people who can’t afford brand new aids, which can cost a few thousand dollars.
It should be a goal in the USA that all who need hearing aids have access to them, whether they can afford to pay.