Katherine Bouton Photo

“The second installment of Hearing Tracker’s survey of 2000 hearing aid users has just been published, and it includes some interesting facts and figures. ‘Paying for Hearing Aids with Medical Insurance,’ the new Hearing Tracker report,  is based on a survey of 2000 hearing aid users conducted earlier this year by Hearing Tracker and its founder, Abram Bailey,” Katherine Bouton writes over on her blog. Before you go any further, know that Bouton’s book is the best reference on this topic. Bouton, a former colleague at The New York Times, has written an encyclopedic (and warm!) handbook for hearing loss. You should go there. “The news is that 25 percent of hearing aid buyers received some insurance reimbursement. The coverage ranged from $1,226 (partial coverage) to $2,131 (full coverage). Bailey warned readers that these figures are based on recollection and that people should go to their provider to get an exact figure. There are two ways of looking at the fact that 25% of hearing-aid users received help in paying for hearing aids. The good news is that this figure is up from 13% in 2008. The glass is half full: the number of people with insurance has doubled in the past decade. Or it’s half empty: three quarters of hearing aid users are paying out of pocket, including Medicare recipients. Here’s a breakdown of reimbursement by insurance provider. Before you decide to change insurance companies, take heed of Hearing Tracker’s caveat: Please remember that the dollar figures below represent recollections and guesses of hearing aid consumers, and may not accurately depict differences among companies.” Katherine Bouton, “Hearing Aids, Hearing Loss, Hearing Help,” katherinebouton.com. Here’s our earlier series on hearing aids, inspired by Katherine and her experts. Here’s the first part of the Hearing Tracker survey.

Jeanne Pinder

Jeanne Pinder  is the founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts. She worked at The New York Times for almost 25 years as a reporter, editor and human resources executive, then volunteered for a buyout and founded...