VA Contract for Hearing Aids – Minutes from VA Meeting in Washington, DC
By Tami Klink
Editor: Ever wonder how much your hearing aids REALLY cost? This article doesn’t answer that question, but the fact that the VA buys them for an average of $350 sure makes some people wonder why they cost us thousands of dollars. One such person is Tami Klink, who has graciously allowed us to share her article with you. You can read more of her writing at http://www.livinglakecountry.com/blogs/communityblogs/71964862.html
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for our much deserving Veterans getting the medical care and support that they all need when they come back home after serving our Country. But, now that I’ve read the minutes of this meeting and see how much the VA is going to spend on average for DIGITAL BEHIND THE EAR Hearing aids, I’m really pissed.
Someone please explain to me why those of us that have not been in the service, but work and pay taxes here in the U.S. are having to pay $1500 – $2500 per hearing aid and the VA will now have a contract with 6 Hearing Aid Manufacturers that will charge the VA on average $350.00 per hearing aid? Don’t give me the BS about ‘it’s all about the service’.
Here ‘s the breakdown: (How much my hearing aids actually cost in July 2008 plus the actual testing)
For people like me that are not Veterans –
Hearing Test/Audiogram $350.00
One Digital BTE GN Resound Hearing Aid – $3786.00 (In my case I need 2 hearing aids, so double the cost) Average of 3 trips back to the audiologist for tweaking and/or repairs over a 2 year period is also included in this cost. We are talking about a total time spent with the audiologist of around 4 hours. TOPS! So, based on this VA contract, I am paying approximately $800 for each HA per hour for this service! (Remember, I have not one, but two HA’s) What other professional gets these hourly rates?
It’s really nice that the government is fighting to get the best possible care for the Veterans. Lord knows, they need it. But, where exactly is the governmental agency that is supposed to be making sure the rest of us (we are talking millions of people here!) are also getting a fair deal?
Imagine how many people would be able to get needed hearing aids if they only had to pay the VA prices? On average, it takes approximately 5 years for a person to finally take the step to go in and get tested/fitted for a hearing aid. Unfortunately, most don’t end up getting the HA’s due to the cost out of pocket for them.
Here are the minutes of the VA Meeting. Go to Page 3 for the Hearing aid contract information.
Gee, maybe the AARP who has that great new insurance for hearing aids with Hears USA can slip in here and fix it. Naw, that would eat into their profits too much. Imagine how much money they are making off of all of us Non-Veterans? And, now they are wanting to sell all of us HOH an insurance policy that will pay a whole $1,000 on 1 hearing aid. What a deal! We’ll still be out on average $2,000 per aid. (This is after you take out the cost of the insurance premium too.)
Can you say Ponzi Scheme? Unfortunately, the consumer is the one at the bottom of the triangle….
Have a great week!