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Enhanced ACC support for hearing loss from today

ACC Media Release

1 July 2014

Enhanced ACC support for hearing loss from today

An enhanced range of ACC support for people with injury-related hearing loss comes into effect today.

ACC’s General Manager of Claims Management, Sid Miller, said the changes include more financial support towards obtaining hearing devices such as hearing aids; an extra contribution to cover device consultations with audiologists, and a new contribution towards ear moulds.

“When you look at the total package of support available, all clients will be better off under this new approach.”

A simplified approach to determining the support available also kicks off today, with the previous ten ‘bands’ used to identify support for different levels of injury-related hearing loss replaced by three broader bands.

“The exact level of increased support will depend on which band you fall into, and how many hearing devices you require.”

The device consultation rate, which is separate to the fee paid to cover the fitting of hearing devices, will help adult clients who wish to shop around for devices.

“Clients will be able to seek two funded consultations to compare options from different audiology services to meet their hearing loss needs.”

From today, ACC will also support multiple offsite repairs per device, up to a fixed amount.

The changes take into account feedback received from the hearing loss sector, to find out how ACC can better support clients.

“We want to help more with clients’ ongoing needs. This means providing support for the purchase and fitting of hearing devices, and also meeting downstream needs such as repairs and obtaining support such as ear moulds.”

Generally, ACC supports people with injury-related hearing loss, and the Ministry of Health (MOH) supports people with health-related hearing loss. However, ACC acts as a ‘one stop shop’ for people who have a combination of both injury- and health- related hearing loss, providing jointly funded support packages from ACC and MOH.

Different arrangements apply for children under 18, whose hearing-related needs can change more rapidly than adults.

Key ACC changes at a glance

Simpler model for determining level of support available – three bands of support, down from ten.

Extra device consultation fee. This allows two consultations with different audiology services at $115 per consultation, so clients can ‘shop around’ for a suitable hearing device. Previously, one consultation was covered as part of the fitting fee.


Flat fitting fee of $1288 for two devices, or $938.40 for one device, regardless of level of hearing loss. Previous fee was graduated according to level of hearing loss.


Higher contribution towards hearing devices for all clients, taking into account new contribution rates and inflationary adjustments (see table below)


New funding for ear moulds (devices worn inside ear for protection and to help conduct sound) at $41.86 for one device, $83.72 for two devices, plus a service fee of $63 for one or two devices.


• Support for multiple, offsite repairs. Clients can now seek any number of repairs, over a two-year period, up to a fixed limit of $234.09 per device. Previously, one payment per client was covered every two years.


Before and after examples ….

Previous contributions towards two hearing devices
BandInjury as a proportion of total hearing loss (%)Total contributions from ACC and MoH (includes device and fitting fee, which includes one consultation with audiology service)
1Up to 9.9$1,403.00
210.0 – 19.9$1,782.50
320.0 – 29.9$2,164.30
430.0 – 39.9$2,543.80
540.0 – 49.9$2,925.60
650.0 – 59.9$3,307.40
760.0 – 69.9$3,686.90
870.0 – 79.9$4,068.70
980.0 – 89.9$4,448.20
1090.0 – 100.00$4,830.00

New contributions towards two hearing devices (from 1 July 2014)
BandInjury as a proportion of total hearing loss (%)Total contribution from ACC and MoH
(includes device, fitting fee, 2X consultations with audiology services and inflationary adjustment)
1Up to 29.9$3,387.90
230.0 – 59.9$4,135.40
360.0 – 100.0$5,183.05

Note: All figures above are GST-inclusive


ENDS

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