Possible financial help for hearing aids?

Americans are coming together in a campaign to encourage Congress to pass a federal tax credit to help people buy hearing aids.

To help organize the effort to have Congress pass the legislation, the Better Hearing Institute (BHI) has launched a new Web site (www.hearingaidtaxcredit.org). An excellent resource and tool for those concerned about the needs of people with hearing loss, it reaches out to adults 55+ and to parents of children with hearing loss and helps to ensure that their voices are heard in Washington.

The Web site underscores BHI’s vital role as the “Advocates for America’s Ears.” “Nearly two out of three adults with hearing loss cite financial constraints as a core reason that they do not wear hearing aids,” said BHI Executive Director Sergei Kochkin, Ph.D. “With the hearing aid assistance tax credit, boomers, seniors, and parents of children would have the financial boost they need to get their hearing loss treated. These people are the reason that Congress needs to step up and take action. The legislation will play a critical role in attaining one of the goals of the federal government’s ‘Healthy People 2010,’ which is to increase the number of people with hearing loss who use hearing aids. The tax credit is the most cost-effective means to achieve this critical goal.” To learn more, visit www.hearingaidtaxcredit.org.

Up to $500 per hearing aid, the tax credit will help boomers, seniors, and parents of children with hearing loss buy the hearing aids they need. About 40 percent of the people who need hearing aids but do not own them, according to a recent Better Hearing Institute national study, are more likely to purchase them in the near future if the tax credit were available.

With hearing loss affecting more than 30 million Americans, or one in every 10 people, you most likely know someone with a hearing loss. And in today’s difficult economy, many of these people are finding the costs of hearing aids beyond their reach. While hearing aids could benefit 95 percent of people with a hearing loss, not everyone can afford the average $1,800 cost for each hearing aid fitting, treatment and follow-up. And most medical insurance plans do not reimburse their members for purchases of hearing aids.

To learn more, visit www.hearingaidtaxcredit.org.

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