Resource Guide: HEARING AID ASSISTANCE

Last Updated; July 16, 2019

AARP Hearing Care Program-HearUSA

Contact: 1-800-203-7048
Website: AARP-Hearing Care Program-HearUSA
Website: AARP-Hearing Care Program-HearUSA Member Advantages

Savings and discounts on a wide range of digital hearing aids and hearing aid accessories available through the AARP Hearing Care Program provided by HearUSA. In addition to your 20% hearing care discount, save an extra $200 off a pair of hearing aids.

Alpha One

1-800-640-7200 or 767-2189 (V/TTY)
1-866-906-5375 or 767-5387 (TTY)
799-8346 (FAX)

South Portland office
127 Main Street
South Portland, ME 04106

Bangor office
1048 Union Street, Suite 2
Bangor, ME 04401

Presque Isle office
549-1 Main Street
Presque Isle, ME 04769

Website: Alpha One

Alpha One is a community-based program directed and managed by people with disabilities to provide independent living opportunities. Alpha One promotes peer interaction, community resource utilization, and self-advocacy skills. It seeks to ensure equal opportunity and compliance with all disability-related laws through increased public awareness, professional consultation, and community advocacy.

The Adaptive Equipment Loan Program (also known as mPower), Adaptive Driver Education, and Information and Referral Service are of special interest to deaf citizens and agencies who serve deaf clients.

The mPower Loan Program (also called Adaptive Equipment Loan Program) lends funds for assistive equipment, such as hearing aids, to individuals in Maine who are able to repay the loan over time. Loans have flexible terms and can cover hearing aids,flashing alert systems and other equipment.

Title 7, Part B Grant Program provides financial assistance to help consumers with disabilities address: health and disability management, self-care, mobility and home accessibility, communication, and learning difficulties. Funds are available to purchase services and adaptive equipment such as hand controls, lifts for vehicles, ramps, showers, hearing aids, flashing alarms and signals. Priority is given for people who are at risk of institutionalization.

AUDIENT

Administered by EPIC Hearing Healthcare
17870 Castleton Street, Suite 320
City of Industry, CA 91748
1-866-956-5400 (V)
626-435-0188 (FAX)
Email: hear@epichearing.com
Website: Audient

AUDIENT, an alliance for accessible hearing care, is designed to assist income qualified hard of hearing people, nationwide, to access quality hearing aids and related care at significantly reduced costs. The AUDIENT program was developed by the non-profit Northwest Lions Foundation for Sight & Hearing and made possible through the help of dedicated providers and suppliers.

The AUDIENT Program was designed for individuals whose income is above the government's established poverty levels, but still find it difficult to afford quality hearing care. Offers reduced cost hearing aids $1,290 to $2,400 for two new digital hearing aids, ear molds, a fitting, three follow-up visits, and a one-year manufacturers limited warranty period. Arrangements are made for referral to a participating hearing healthcare professional near you. Income requirements: Family size: One: $27,000 income, Two: $36,000, Three: $46,000.

DRM Telecommunications Equipment Program (TEP)

The Telecommunications Equipment Program (TEP) was established by state law to provide no- or low-cost adaptive phone equipment to any Maine resident who cannot use their home's conventional telephone due to a physical, sensory, or cognitive disability. The program was established to assist low-income residents, and most clients pay nothing for the phone equipment they receive. Through a simple application process, DRM's TEP staff determine which amplified, captioned, or voice-activated telephone and/or call signaler will best meet your needs.

To apply, complete the TEP application form, available online at Disability Rights Maine-Deaf Services TEP or call to have us mail you one. Send it back to DRM with:

Verification of Disability (note from doctor, an audiogram, or diploma from deaf school)

Proof of Household income for all family members for prior 12 months (tax returns, pay stubs, social security award letters, or bank statements)

DRM Program staff will assist you in selecting the best phone for your needs. Staff are also available to assist with installation and training. If you find that the equipment does not meet your needs, DRM staff will assist you in selecting a different phone. As a Lending client, you may keep the equipment for as long as you need or want it, but you cannot give it to someone else, or take it out of the state of Maine. If your needs change or the equipment breaks down, DRM staff will work with you to resolve the issue by repairing or replacing your equipment.

For those whose income may put them above the program limit for no-cost assistance, we offer a 'Cost-Share option. Cost-Share allows individuals to pay a portion of the equipment cost, on a sliding scale, to purchase the equipment they need. As with no-cost equipment, we ship the equipment directly to you. However, the equipment is the clients property, just as if it had been purchased from any store. If repairs or replacement needs arise, program staff can refer Cost-Share clients to the appropriate repair center or warranty process. The cost of repair or replacement for Cost-Share equipment is the individuals responsibility.

TEP applicants who are over age 65 have the option of receiving a single telecoil-equipped hearing aid instead of a phone, but should be aware that we currently have a lengthy waiting list. There are additional requirements for applicants seeking a hearing aid; in addition to proof of disability and proof of income, applicants must also submit proof of age and a recent audiogram with their application. Program staff are available to answer any questions about the application process or eligibility.

For more information, contact:
Lisa Penney, Advocate
Email: lpenney@drme.org

Hear Now

A Program of the Starkey Hearing Foundation
6700 Washington Avenue South
Eden Prairie, MN 55344
1-800-328-8602 (V) (Ask for Hear Now)
(952) 947-4997 (FAX)
Contact person: Joanita Stelter, HEAR NOW Coordinator
Email: hearnow@starkey.com
Website: Hear Now

HEAR NOW, the U.S. program of the Starkey Hearing Foundation, provides hearing aids to adults and children who are permanent residents of the United States, meet the financial criteria and are approved for assistance. HEAR NOW is an organization of last resort; all other options for service must be used before HEAR NOW benefit is approved. To determine if someone meets the eligibility requirements, call 1-800-328-8602 (V). There is a nonrefundable processing fee of $125 per hearing aid.

HEAR NOW also collects used hearing aids for recycling. Donations are tax deductible. Hearing aids should be packed in a padded envelope or box along with the clearly printed name and address of the donor. Send to HEAR NOW, A Program of the Starkey Hearing Foundation, 6700 Washington Avenue South, Eden Prairie, MN 55344. Acknowledgment letters will be sent within six weeks of receipt of donation.

Hearing Charities of America

1912 East Meyer Blvd.
Kansas City, MO 64132
(816) 333-8300 (V)
(816) 333-4320 (FAX)

The National Hearing Aid Project is a unique model and one-of-a-kind collaboration created by Hearing Charities of America (HCOA). It addresses the increased demand for hearing aids by providing hearing aids to low-income individuals on a national scale.

The project brings organizations together so that each fulfills a specific role in providing hearing aids to the individuals that need them. HCOA has partnered with the Department of Speech-Language-Hearing: Sciences & Disorders at the University of Kansas to maintain and track all of the hearing aids in the program.

The primary services involved in this project are:
Accepting and reviewing applications
Refurbishing hearing aids
Performing hearing health evaluations
Soliciting support and services from others who can help support the project

A hearing aid that is no longer being used can make a big difference in someone elses life someone who could not afford a hearing aid without a donation. Donating a used hearing aid to the National Hearing Aid Project can help a child hear his teacher in the classroom and excel in school. It could help a mother or father gain employment, or obtain a higher paying position. Even just one used hearing aid can give the gift of sound, and improve a persons quality of life.

Help America Hear Program

Foundation for Sight & Sound
P.O. Box 1245
Smithtown, NY 11787
631-366-3461 (V)
Email: info@foundationforsightandsound.org
Website: Help America Hear Program

The Help America Hear Program is designed to provide hearing aids to individuals who do not have the financial capacity to purchase them and who meet the other criteria defined by the program committee.

Insurance Companies (private)

Recently passed legislation, see: Hearing Aid Insurance Coverage

Check with your health insurance company by calling the phone number on the back of your health insurance card.

Lion's Club

Bruce Keezer, State Chair of Speech & Hearing
426-2030 (V)

Your local Lion's Club can donate toward hearing aids and adaptive equipment. Call the club nearest you to inquire about their speech and hearing program. The Lions Club will accept donations of old hearing aids in the eyeglass collection boxes. For information about your local club, call the above number.

MaineCare Coverage of Hearing Aids

1-800-977-6740 (V)
TTY users call Maine Relay 711

MaineCare Member Services can assist members with any questions they may have regarding their benefit plan. They can also provide them with a provider directory.

Provider Services can assist providers/audiologists with questions regarding billing, prior authorization, member eligibility and other general related questions. The number to reach them is: 1-866-690-5585, TTY 711.

Hearing Aids are now covered for adults over 21 years old that have Full MaineCare benefits. (Not covered for individuals having only MSP-QMB benefit plan) A prior authorization needs to be submitted for all hearing aids for adults over 21 years old. Providers can go on our HealthPas portal to obtain the prior authorization form. They can submit this along with required documentation by faxing to the number listed on the paper form or if they have an online portal account, they can submit a request directly on the portal. If a provider has questions regarding their PA, the Prior Authorization can assist and their contact information is also on the form.

Should a provider have a policy related question or an issue that Member Services and/or Provider Services cannot resolve, they can contact Provider Relations Cynthia Barre at 624-6963 or Brenda Holden at 624-6927. Cynthia Barre is the Provider Relations Representative for Section 109 Speech & Audiology Services and Brenda Holden is the Provider Relations Representative for Section 60, Durable Medical Supplies.

Please visit MaineCare Services HealthPas Portal at: mainecare.maine.gov. This website provides information to MaineCare members, providers, trading partners, and the public.

The QMB benefit is a separate benefit within the Medicaid program It is not Full MaineCare benefits. The benefit is a supplement to their Medicare benefit plan and will only reimburse for coinsurance and deductibles for services that are covered by Medicare. Medicare does not cover hearing aids so therefore a QMB only member would not be entitled. If a member were to have both Full MaineCare and QMB then it would be covered if medically necessary. Providers will need to verify the members eligibility and benefit plan prior to providing services.

MaineCare Coverage in Nursing Facilities

1-800-977-6740 (V)
TTY Users Call Maine Relay 711

Most items (hearing aids) needed by an individual in a nursing facility are covered by the MaineCare payment to the facility or use of the MaineCare ID. Individuals with medical expenses not covered by the MaineCare ID or the MaineCare payment at the facility may have these expenses deducted from their cost of care. These expenses are deducted starting the month following the month in which the bills are received in the local Department of Health and Human Services office. Contact MaineCare or the Division for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing & Late Deafened for more information.

Maine State Housing Authority/MaineHousing

353 Water Street
Augusta, ME 04330
207-626-4600 (V)
1-800-452-4668
TTY Users Call Maine Relay 711
626-4678 (FAX)

If you live in subsidized housing, check with your property manager regarding deducting medical expenses such as hearing aids and hearing aid batteries from your monthly rent at your annual review.

Medicare

1-800-633-4227 (V)
1-877-486-2048 (TTY)
Website: Medicare

Medicare may offer some funding towards the purchase of hearing aids under some Advantage Plans or Part C. Refer to your Summary of Benefits or call the phone number on the back of your card to see if you qualify.

Medicare Advantage Plans
Many companies offer Medicare Advantage Plans (including Anthem BCBS, United and AARP). With these programs, there may be additional funding for hearing aid resources and hearing checks. For people with Mainecare AND Medicare, this may be added to the insurance bundle at no cost. Check with individual companies to see how the plans compare.

Miracle-Ear Foundation

5000 Cheshire Parkway North
Plymouth, MN 55446
800-464-8002 (V)
Website: Miracle-Ear Foundation

Gift of Sound Program:
The Miracle-Ear Foundation serves and supports children and adults who have a hearing loss. Our Gift of Sound program provides at no-cost* hearing aids and hearing support services to families or individuals who have incomes that are significantly limited, who are unable to afford the high costs of quality hearing instruments, and who have exhausted all possible resources for their hearing health. Hearing challenges are unique, every application for service and support is considered on an individual basis. The recommended hearing aid style will depend on a persons specific hearing condition and circumstances.

*Application fee for adults, ages 19 years and older, requesting services from the Miracle-Ear Foundation is $150. This is a non-refundable fee; please make sure you fit eligibility criteria before applying.

Penobscot Community Health Center (PCHC)/Warren Center

992 Union Street
Bangor, ME 04401
404-8080 (V)
941-2852 (FAX)
Website: Penobscot Community Health Center (PCHC)/Warren Center

Our Mission: PCHC/Warren Center provides evaluations, therapies and technologies in the areas of speech, language development and hearing to children and adults of Central and Eastern Maine.

Audiology: PCHC/Warren Center provides complete audiometric evaluations performed by our licensed, certified doctors of audiology. Evaluations include a number of specialized tests for infants, children and adults that assess hearing ability and type of loss, such as nerve damage or ear infection. Complete Hearing Aid Services: Hearing aids may be purchased through the PCHC/Warren Center after a complete diagnostic evaluation. With recommendations from the audiologists, you can choose from a wide variety of digital hearing aids. PCHC/Warren Center offers a 30-day trial period and a two-year warranty with any new hearing aid. Hearing aid repairs and servicing are available for most makes and models.

The Regional Hearing Aid Bank: ReHAB for short, is designed to provide one hearing aid to those members of our community who are unable to afford them. It utilizes donated behind-the-ear hearing aids that can be refurbished and reprogrammed for use by another person. The ReHAB program is designed particularly for members of the community who are unable to be served by the Veterans' Administration, Vocational Rehabilitation program, insurances or other third-party providers and whose annual income is less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level.

There is an application process for these services. Applications are available by calling the PCHC/Warren Center at 404-8080 or may be picked up at the PCHC/Warren Center office at 992 Union Street, Bangor. The contact person is Nicole Duncan.

Donations of hearing aids to benefit the ReHAB program are always accepted. Behind-the-ear hearing aids of all makes and models are those used for refurbishment and placement. In-the-ear hearing aids are recycled, and the proceeds are then used to help with the costs of refurbishing the behind the ear hearing aids. Hearing aids may be dropped off or mailed to the PCHC/Warren Center office at 992 Union Street, Bangor, Maine 04401.

Cochlear Implant Mapping: PCHC/Warren Center works with all three cochlear implant manufacturers. The clinic employs an audiologist that specializes in cochlear implant evaluations and mapping/follow up. For individuals who are wondering if they are a cochlear implant candidate, the first step would be to have a comprehensive hearing evaluation.

SERTOMA

1912 East Meyer Boulevard
Kansas City, MO 64132-9990
816-333-8300 (V)
816-333-4320 (FAX)
Website: Sertoma

This is a civic organization available for people entering college or already in college pursuing a Bachelors Degree.

Travelers Protective Association of America Scholarship Trust for the Hearing Impaired (TPA)

3755 Lindell Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63108-3476
314-371-0533 (V)
314-371-0537 (FAX)
Email: support@tpahq.org
Website: Travelers Protective Association of American Scholarship Trust for the Hearing Impaired

TPA provides assistance to persons who would benefit from mechanical devices, medical care and specialized education or treatment and are unable to provide the funds themselves. There is no restriction on age, sex, race or creed. You must be a United States citizen. Grants may be used to purchase hearing aids, assistive listening equipment or to help with the cost of a cochlear implant.

TRICARE Regional Office (TRO)

Family of Armed Service Members Eligible for Hearing Aids
North Tel: 1-877-874-2273 (V)
South Tel: 1-800-444-5445 (V)
West Tel: 1-888-874-9378 (V)
Overseas beneficiaries may call 1-888-777-8343 (V)
Website: Tricare

The National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2002, provides active-duty family members (ADFMs) who meet specific hearing loss requirements the eligibility to receive hearing aids, services, and supplies as a TRICARE benefit. Service physicians and audiologists from the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs have helped Tricare officials to establish separate hearing-level thresholds for adults and children. More information may be obtained from the Tricare website. Previously, hearing aids and services were only available to those beneficiaries who were in the Program for Persons with Disabilities (PFPWD).

The criteria for an adult ADFM to qualify for hearing aids and services are 40 decibel (dB) hearing loss (HL) or greater in one or both ears when tested at one of the following frequencies; 500, 1,000, 1,500, 2,000, 3,000 or 4,000Hz; or 26dB HL or greater in one or both ears at any three or more of those frequencies (mentioned previously); or a speech recognition score less than 94 percent.

The criterion for children of active duty service members to qualify for hearing aids and services is 26dB HL or greater hearing threshold level in one or both ears when tested in one of the following frequency ranges: 500, 1,000, 2,000, 3,000 or 4,000Hz.

Eligible TRICARE beneficiaries will receive all medically necessary and appropriate services and supplies, including hearing examinations administered by authorized providers that are required in connection with this benefit. Eligible beneficiaries who suspect they or a family member may have a hearing loss should schedule an appointment with their primary care manager or medical provider for an examination. Beneficiaries will then be referred to an audiologist for any necessary tests.

USHearingplan.net

1-866-276-4455
Website: ushearingplan.net

Wide variety of hearing aid brands and models.
The average cost of a hearing aid is $1,495, contact U.S. Hearing Plan for specific pricing.
The above price range includes the hearing test, ear molds, one year of batteries, 60-day trial, two-year repair warranty, and one-year loss and damage policy.
US Hearing Plan chooses the provider.

Veterans Administration (VA) Audiology

1-877-421-8263 x4142

Congress changed the qualification for veterans to obtain hearing aids from the VA in 1996. You can now qualify for a free hearing aid if you have a 10 percent service connected disability (for any reason) and hearing loss.

To apply for service-connected disability and pension compensation, you must fill out a VA form 526.

Veterans with very low income may be eligible for health care through the VA. This will cover hearing aids and may also include TTYs, telephone amplification devices, personal listening systems, and cochlear implants.

Vocational Rehabilitation (VR)

Bureau of Rehabilitation Services
Department of Labor

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, also known as "VR," helps people with physical, mental, or emotional disabilities to get and keep a job.

Hearing Aids and Vocational Rehabilitation: The Vocational Rehabilitation Program (VR) can help eligible Maine VR clients get hearing aids if their hearing loss disability is a barrier to employment. See hearing aid procurement website: Hearing Aid Procurement

Terry Morrell, Regional Manager
207-470-7668 (VP)
207-623-7998 (TTY)
207-287-5292 (FAX)
Email: Terry.L. Morrell@maine.gov

Rehabilitation Counselors for the Deaf (RCD)

REGION I
Bureau of Rehabilitation Services
151 Jetport Blvd.
Portland, ME 04102-1946
Joe Roquebecil
Email: Joseph.Roquebecil@maine.gov
207-221-5526 (Portland VP)
207-805-7293 (Saco VP)
207-441-5574 (Text/IM)
207-775-7870 (FAX)

Serving Cumberland and York counties.

John Post
207-591-4128 (Portland VP)
Email: John.I.Post@maine.gov

Serving Androscoggin, Cumberland, Franklin, Oxford, Sagadahoc and York counties.

REGION II
Bureau of Rehabilitation Services
5 Mollison Way
Lewiston, ME 04240
207-514-0183 (VP)
207-689-5887 (Text)
207-753-9051(FAX)
John Post
Email: John.I.Post@maine.gov

Serving Androscoggin, Cumberland, Franklin, Oxford, Sagadahoc and York counties.

REGION III
Bureau of Rehabilitation Services
73 State House Station
45 Commerce Drive
Augusta, ME 04333
207-226-7270(VP)
207-287-6252 (TTY)
287-6249 (FAX)
Sitara Sheikh
Email: Sitara.N.Sheikh@maine.gov

91 Camden Street, Suite 202
Rockland, ME 04841
207-226-7270 (VP)
594-1858 (FAX)
Sitara Sheikh
Email: Sitara.N.Sheikh@maine.gov

REGION IV
Bureau of Rehabilitation Services
45 Oak Street, Suite 1
Bangor, ME 04401
207-217-0158 (Cell Voice or Text)
207-561-4014 (V)
207-433-5234 (VP)
561-4027 (FAX)
Sue Henri-MacKenzie
Email: Sue.E.Henri-MacKenzie@Maine.gov

Bureau of Rehabilitation Services
66 Spruce Street, Suite 3
Presque Isle, ME 04769
207-217-0158 (Cell Voice or Text)
207-760-6300 (V)
207-433-5234 (VP)
760-6316 (FAX)
Sue Henri-MacKenzie
Email: Sue.E.Henri-MacKenzie@Maine.gov