Letters to the Editor

Hearing aids needed for Medicaid adults

Hearing loss is a hidden experience. Most of us don’t know when someone else can’t hear. The person who can’t hear smiles, nods and pretends to understand. Alternatively, there is misunderstanding, frustration and possibly anger. People who can’t hear can’t follow directions, don’t communicate effectively and eventually withdraw and become isolated. Employers are offended; families are alienated. Each of you who reads this is probably aware of someone whose behavior has changed because of hearing loss.

For the lucky people with resources, hearing aids are the answer. An audiologist appointment, an opportunity to try various hearing aids, and a final purchase allows those individuals to cope, stay employed, relate to their families and function reasonably well. For others, who can’t afford the audiologist or the hearing aids, life isn’t as successful.

The Legislature is contemplating a bill right now that would restore coverage for hearing aids for adults on Medicaid. Children on Medicaid are covered; but adults haven’t been, since budget cuts a few years ago. But think about it – isn’t it a good investment in productivity, in families and the economy to have people be able to hear, regardless of their financial circumstances?

Please let your Legislators know that you support SB 5179, that would restore coverage for hearing aids for adult Medicaid recipients. And if you would like more information about hearing loss and how to cope with it, see our web site, http://hearingloss-wa.org/.

Secretary Hearing Loss Association of America - Washington Association