Cost keeps Medicare from covering hea...

Cost keeps Medicare from covering hearing aids | The Columbus Dispatch

There are 34 comments on the Columbus Dispatch story from Apr 9, 2011, titled Cost keeps Medicare from covering hearing aids | The Columbus Dispatch. In it, Columbus Dispatch reports that:

When Medicare was created 46 years ago, Congress was adamant that the program would not pay for hearing aids.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Columbus Dispatch.

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pennyfraser

Chantilly, VA

#1 Apr 9, 2011
I just heard it on the radio that "Penny Health Insurance" can offer health insurance for just $1 a day any one aware of this ? have anyone purchased insurance through them. I did search for them and found them online.
Ohio Lawyer

Columbus, OH

#2 Apr 9, 2011
"I don't disagree with her," said U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi, who added that his father has hearing problems. "But this would be very, very expensive.

"We don't have some sort of money tree in Washington with (Medicare) where we can go to.

"The only money tree we have in Washington is for REALLY, REALLY RICH PEOPLE," Tiberi babbled on. That's why I voted for two unfunded wars, and completely unfunded new entitlement program in Medicare Part D (which will cost hundreds of billions if not trillions over time), and also voted to drastically CUT the revenues we needed to pay for those programs so we could hand out what are now virtually permanent tax cuts for the rich"

"In other words, when you read 'Pat Tiberi'", think "Shameless and Hypocritical Lying Pig".
Aunionmember

Chillicothe, OH

#3 Apr 9, 2011
I want a hearing aid. If they would raise taxes on everyone, just a little bit, I could have one. Would like to have two but.... One is OK. No to SB5! I want a hearing aid.
Mee

Powell, OH

#4 Apr 9, 2011
FYI, most insurance companies will NOT cover hearing aids! When I had to get them initially insurance company had me getting letters from my doctor stating I needed them, etc. Only in the end to be told they don't pay for hearing aids!
Another mother

Lancaster, OH

#5 Apr 9, 2011
Yet the Medicaid program pays for 1 out
of 3 births... Healthy, able bodied young women not contributing to society by choice deserve our tax dollars, yet the elderly who already spent their lifetimes contributing will go without.
Alda

Columbus, OH

#6 Apr 9, 2011
Many of the folks on Medicare can easily afford the hearing aids but want to milk the system for all its worth. This old lady has probably collected more from Medicade than she and her husband ever paid in.....many times over......but that won't keep her from whinning for more because "I am elderly and deserve it." She should be ashamed of herself, but you can be sure she won't be. Rather she will think she is deserving of everything she can force her neighbors to pay for.
Bettina

Columbus, OH

#7 Apr 9, 2011
Come on! Why do hearing aids cost thousands of dollars, when you can buy IPhones and IPads that do everything but walk your dog for you for hundreds? A hearing aid's essential function is to clarify and amplify ambient sound, is it not? Granted, a technician may be needed to assess hearing loss and "tune" the device, but how much does that need to cost? I presume this is a very high profit enterprise, from manufacture through sales (the replacement batteries aren't cheap, either). If Medicare had the authority to say to the industry, "this is what we're going to pay. Take it or leave it," the industry would take it.
I'm sure they'd rather sell millions of units rather than hundreds of thousands. Economy of scale, I think they call it in Econ 101.
crmaxable

Dayton, OH

#8 Apr 9, 2011
Ohio Lawyer wrote:
"I don't disagree with her," said U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi, who added that his father has hearing problems. "But this would be very, very expensive.
"We don't have some sort of money tree in Washington with (Medicare) where we can go to.
"The only money tree we have in Washington is for REALLY, REALLY RICH PEOPLE," Tiberi babbled on. That's why I voted for two unfunded wars, and completely unfunded new entitlement program in Medicare Part D (which will cost hundreds of billions if not trillions over time), and also voted to drastically CUT the revenues we needed to pay for those programs so we could hand out what are now virtually permanent tax cuts for the rich"
"In other words, when you read 'Pat Tiberi'", think "Shameless and Hypocritical Lying Pig".
while al this may be true they still fund viagra and penis pumpos and the like
Lolita Shih Tzu

Mount Vernon, OH

#9 Apr 9, 2011
Let's put things in prospective guys.
What is more inportant? An erectile dysfunction or an ear dysfunction??
A penile implant or a hearing aid?

Are these decisions made by old male f a r t s who spend their time in boards making decisions for us??
We need a referendum urgently!
bullpucky

Jackson, OH

#10 Apr 9, 2011
Well, if older people can't hear then the politicians could tell them anything! Many health-care plans won't cover this growing necessity - even with children who have hearing difficulties. It seems like hearing would be on a par with seeing - so perhaps someone should look into providing a more affordable aide to people? Someone who isn't as much interested in profit as they are in helping.
Larry

Portsmouth, OH

#11 Apr 9, 2011
What a dumb law-If you are on medicare they will not pay for a hearing aid but if you are on medicaid( which people receiving medicare help support by paying taxes) you get a hearing aid paid for. Sure shows how screwed up our laws are.We need to replace all Federal elected people and start over.
bullpucky

Jackson, OH

#12 Apr 9, 2011
Lolita Shih Tzu wrote:
Let's put things in prospective guys.
What is more inportant? An erectile dysfunction or an ear dysfunction??
A penile implant or a hearing aid?
Are these decisions made by old male f a r t s who spend their time in boards making decisions for us??
We need a referendum urgently!
And what would "old male farts" care more about? There are also some health care plans that won't pay for birth control pills for women....but the "old male farts" will make sure they get what they need to keep THEIR equipment operating....YUK!! Ya know....the more you think about it the worse it sounds! Maybe Tiberi and company are just looking out for their own "future needs." I guess you don't have to "hear" to keep that tool working.....
Larry

Portsmouth, OH

#13 Apr 9, 2011
Alda wrote:
Many of the folks on Medicare can easily afford the hearing aids but want to milk the system for all its worth. This old lady has probably collected more from Medicade than she and her husband ever paid in.....many times over......but that won't keep her from whinning for more because "I am elderly and deserve it." She should be ashamed of herself, but you can be sure she won't be. Rather she will think she is deserving of everything she can force her neighbors to pay for.
Alda, you sound like your job is an elected one, right? These old folks you talk about have paid into Soicial Security for close to 50 years along with their employers. If you can do math figure with the amount they and their employers paid into Social Security plus interest on their donations and you cann't say any of them are milking the system.
Suggest you get a life and due some research, if you are able.
Joe

Columbus, OH

#14 Apr 9, 2011
The solution: If you want coverage for hearing aids, then expect your Medicare premiums to increase. Just like any other insurance, the more that's covered, the more your premiums will be. If you satisfy the population that has hearing problems, you're going to tick off the rest of the Medicare beneficiaries that have to pay higher premiums. If they are going to cover hearing aids, then what about dentures... and eyeglasses... and so on....?

As for the director of the agency on aging, I suggest he do some research on Medicare Advantage plans. Hearing benefits are MINIMAL at best on those plans, and most will not pay anything on hearing aids. Most plans do not have high premiums as stated, and they do not pick up expenses not covered by Medicare. They are private insurance plans that take the place of Medicare and act as the primary insurance. Let's get our facts straight.
Lord Help Us

Hilliard, OH

#15 Apr 9, 2011
Alda wrote:
Many of the folks on Medicare can easily afford the hearing aids but want to milk the system for all its worth. This old lady has probably collected more from Medicade than she and her husband ever paid in.....many times over......but that won't keep her from whinning for more because "I am elderly and deserve it." She should be ashamed of herself, but you can be sure she won't be. Rather she will think she is deserving of everything she can force her neighbors to pay for.
In reading your statement, I did not see anything in regards to medicaid patients who get government funding hearing aids. Let's see...who deserves free hearing aids...medicaid recipients who probably never worked and has no desire to or the elderly who most likely worked most of her life and paid into medicare? What is wrong with this country and how did we get to this place?
Old wood not dead wood

United States

#16 Apr 9, 2011
Lolita Shih Tzu wrote:
Let's put things in prospective guys.
What is more inportant? An erectile dysfunction or an ear dysfunction??
A penile implant or a hearing aid?
Are these decisions made by old male f a r t s who spend their time in boards making decisions for us??
We need a referendum urgently!
If an old guy can't get and keep it up why would he want to hear his old lady when she nags him to mow the grass OR was the car?

Since: Jun 10

Canal Winchester, OH

#17 Apr 9, 2011
1.) Watch the cost of hearing aids come down where insurance doesn't cover them any more.
2.) Maybe Medicare needs to look closer at what procedures they allow and which procedures they disallow. Just because things are doesn't mean they should be.
Alda

Columbus, OH

#18 Apr 9, 2011
Larry wrote:
<quoted text>
Alda, you sound like your job is an elected one, right? These old folks you talk about have paid into Soicial Security for close to 50 years along with their employers. If you can do math figure with the amount they and their employers paid into Social Security plus interest on their donations and you cann't say any of them are milking the system.
Suggest you get a life and due some research, if you are able.
Sorry Lar, but obviously don't have a clue. Social security does NOT pay for Medicare expenses, Medicare does. And to cover Medicare you pay in 2% of you gross pay. If the old woman in the story is 85 and if she ever worked outside the home, she probably retired 20 years ago and has been soaking the system since then. If her average income per year had been $20,000/year when working, she would have paid in $400/year, or in 20 years, all of $8,000. With interest it might amount to $25,000. One major hospitalization for heart bypass or such would cost well more than that. At 85 you can be sure she has been collecting for many medical charges along the way and the $100 a month she now pays covers perhaps 2 months worth of doctors visits, assuming she has no BIG health issues. If you want to know why Medicare is going bankrupt it is for the very reason old people (like me--am 70) have high medical costs and we have paid in only a pittance to cover those costs. I fully understand the benefit Medicare is for me but I get sick and tired of old people always wanting more--which means our grandchildren will pick up the tab. So Lar, get a life as well as some facts before pontificating.
Alda

Columbus, OH

#19 Apr 9, 2011
Lord Help Us wrote:
<quoted text>
In reading your statement, I did not see anything in regards to medicaid patients who get government funding hearing aids. Let's see...who deserves free hearing aids...medicaid recipients who probably never worked and has no desire to or the elderly who most likely worked most of her life and paid into medicare? What is wrong with this country and how did we get to this place?
Lord Help Us, I fully agree with you about it being a travesty that Medicaid pays for hearing aids and Medicare does not. Neither should, but if it is to be one or the other, then it would be better that Medicare pay.
mlw

Canal Winchester, OH

#20 Apr 9, 2011
The reason hearing aids costs so much is due to the HUGH mark up by hearing aid dealers. I know they have expenses too, but they can half the price if a new aid and still make a reasonable profit. They have a habit of of preying on the elderly and disabled. I have been wearing aids for 50yrs and I have seen plenty of abuse of the industry. People need to shop around and be knowledgeble to make a firm descession. Call around to find the prices and reputation of these dealers. Some of thee stories I have experienced and heard about can make your hair fall out.

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