September 24, 2021
Bridging the conversation between hearing health professionals and lawmakers in Washington
A person’s hearing affects all aspects of their life — whether it is listening to the bustling city or cherishing a birthday song from loved ones. Protecting this vital gift should be done with care. If it is damaged, people should be able to access effective, safe devices that help them.
Listen Carefully is committed to facilitating greater connection between hearing health professionals and lawmakers to ensure thoughtful, quality solutions for the over 44 million Americans suffering from some degree of hearing loss.
Life is loud, so you must listen carefully.
Hearing health is complex and touches all aspects of a person’s life. Listen Carefully seeks to help others live fuller, healthier lives by focusing on four key priorities:
Hearing Health Model
Over-the Counter (OTC)
These priorities are the core of what we do and what we want Congress to understand. All solutions for hearing health coming out of Washington need to stem from these priorities and put the patients first, and that is why they need to hear from you.
What's Happening in Washington?
Over-the-Counter (OTC) Regulation
President Biden recently signed an executive order calling on the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to consider issuing proposed rules for hearing aids to be OTC within 120 days. These devices are a new category of hearing aids that consumers will be able to buy directly, without visiting a hearing health professional. They are intended to help adults who believe they have mild-to-moderate hearing loss, at budget friendly prices. However, lower prices often result in lower quality of care.
Hearing loss is unique to each individual, which is why it’s important that licensed, trained hearing health professionals continue to play a key role in a patient’s hearing loss journey.
30 states provide Medicaid coverage of hearing aids, another 23 states require insurance to cover some portion of hearing aid costs, and 80 percent of Medicare Advantage plans offer hearing, dental, or vision benefits.
However, more can be done.
Medicare coverage for individuals aged 65 years or older and individuals with disabilities statutorily excludes dental, vision, and hearing benefits. While Medicare does cover certain hearing services –like diagnostic hearing and balance exams – the coverage does not extend to hearing evaluations for the purpose of obtaining a hearing aid. This coverage also excludes the hearing aids themselves, as well as services related to fitting or servicing hearing aids. If Medicare is expanded, it is crucial that Congress ensures greater access to quality hearing care for Americans.
Make your voice heard.
There is legislation in the works to expand Medicare coverage, and Congress needs to hear from you to make sure they get hearing health solutions right.
Join us in telling Congress to listen carefully.