Caring for your diabetes is expensive. The cost of medications, blood sugar monitoring devices, and other supplies can add up quickly.
Managing hearing loss associated with diabetes can require expensive hearing aids or other assistive devices. Hearing aids or personal sound amplification products (PSAPs) are usually the first line of assistance for people with hearing loss.
Hearing aids are designed to help impaired hearing, while PSAPs are useful if you have normal hearing but are having difficulty with sound in certain situations, like watching TV.
OTC hearing aids and PSAPs
Assistive devices for hearing loss are no longer limited to prescription hearing aids. Over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids and PSAPs can be effective lower-cost alternatives.
Several additional costs are associated with prescription hearing aids, including medical exams, audiologist fittings, and purchases from licensed sellers. OTC hearing aids do not require medical exams, prescriptions, audiologist fittings, or licensed sellers.
It’s important to remember OTC hearing aids are only available for adults 18 and over with perceived mild to moderate hearing loss. People of any age can use prescription hearing aids for mild, moderate, or severe hearing loss.
While prescription and OTC hearing aids are medical devices and must comply with FDA requirements, PSAPs are electronic products and are not considered medical devices. These devices are used to amplify sounds for people with normal hearing, who have perceived hearing difficulties.
Getting help paying for hearing aids
When you decide the time is right to address hearing loss, you may be able to get financial assistance for hearing aids. Assistance may be available through your private insurance company, Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C), and Medicaid, but plans vary, so check with your health care provider for specific coverage. Community-specific hearing aid resources are also available through organizations like the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), federal employee programs, state vocational rehabilitation plans, and employee benefits programs.
Offsetting diabetes costs
You may also be eligible for financial assistance to help with the cost of treating diabetes and its complications, including hearing loss. Some states, like Washington, offer property tax discounts to older adults with health conditions, including diabetes and hearing loss.
You can also consult your tax advisor to determine eligibility for income tax breaks on diabetes expenses.