The bipartisan Hearing Aid Tax Credit (HR 1646) has been reintroduced in Congress and a Senate bill is due to follow soon—and supporters of the measure are strongly urging those who share their view to make their voices heard in Washington.
The Hearing Aid Tax Credit would provide assistance to many of the 32 million people who need hearing aids to treat their hearing loss. The legislation before Congress provides up to $1,000 for two hearing aids for dependents and adults 55 years and over.
The bill, with the addition of a $200,000/year income eligibility cap, is otherwise unchanged from legislation in the 110th Congress that attracted 112 co-sponsors by the end of the session.
Medicare and most private insurance policies exclude coverage for hearing aids, and out-of-pocket cost is cited as a prohibitive factor by two-thirds of those who do not treat their hearing loss. According to research performed by Sergei Kochkin, executive director, Better Hearing Institute, one in four households in America has at least one person with a hearing loss, and two-thirds of households cannot afford hearing health care.
The Hearing Loss Association of America urges supporters of the measure to tap their Facebook, e-mail, and discussion forum contacts to spread the word and contact their representatives in Washington, with the aim of generating 500,000 letters to members of Congress. If each person writes a letter to both senators and one letter to a member of Congress, a groundswell of 167,000 people could hit the 500,000 mark.
The Hearing Aid Tax Credit is actively supported by hearing health organizations such as the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AG Bell), Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA), American Academy of Audiology (AAA), American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA), International Hearing Society (IHS), Better Hearing Institute (BHI), and the Hearing Industries Association (HIA).
To view the Facebook supporter page, click here.
To view the BHI’s Web site for The Hearing Aid Tax Credit, click here.