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Increased hearing aid subsidy for SuperGold Card


Hon David Cunliffe
Minister of Health

Hon Ruth Dyson
Minister for Senior Citizens

1 October 2008 Media Statement

Government increases hearing aid subsidy for SuperGold Card holders 65 years and over

From today the Government has increased the hearing aid subsidy for people who are aged 65 and over and have a SuperGold Card.

The subsidy, which was previously $198, has been increased to $500 per hearing aid.

Between 1 July 2007 and 30 June 2008 the Ministry of Health subsidised over 14,000 hearing aids.

“Hearing aids are helpful for many older people, assisting them to live at home safely and to maintain their quality of life.”

“Increasing the subsidy for this group of people will make it easier for them to afford the hearing aid they need”, said Minister of Health David Cunliffe.

“The enhanced hearing aid subsidy is one of a number of valuable concessions now available to SuperGold Card holders”, said Minister for Senior Citizens Ruth Dyson.

A pamphlet that includes information for clients about the increased hearing aid subsidy is available on the Disability Funding (www.disabilityfunding.co.nz) website and has been distributed to Audiologists, hearing assessors, Grey Power and other relevant consumer groups throughout the country.

--

Questions & Answers

1. Who can get the increased subsidy of $500?
People aged 65 and over, who hold a SuperGold card. Your hearing must be assessed by a qualified Audiologist. The Audiologist can work in either private practice or be based at your local District Health Board Audiology clinic.



2. When is it available?
It is available from 1 October, 2008. To get the higher level of subsidy you must have your hearing aid/s fitted on or after 1 October.

3. How much is it?
You can get up to $500 (incl. GST) per hearing aid (up to $1000 for 2 hearing aids incl. GST).

4. How often can I get the subsidy?
You can get the increased subsidy once every five years.

5. Why doesn’t everyone get the increase?
This is a special Government concession for SuperGold Card holders who are aged 65 and over. People who are not eligible for fully funded hearing aids will still qualify for a $198 subsidy per aid.

6. How do I get the subsidy?
Your hearing must be assessed and hearing aid/s fitted by a qualified Audiologist. Both you and the Audiologist who fitted your hearing aid must fill out an application form. The Audiologist will send the application form to Enable New Zealand, the organisation which administers the subsidy on behalf of the Ministry of Health. You will need to show your SuperGold Card to your Audiologist to be able to get the increased subsidy.

7. Is it income or asset tested?
No, it is not income or asset tested.

8. What kind of hearing aids can I get?
You can get new hearing aids only. Second-hand hearing aids are not eligible for this subsidy. If you already have a subsidised hearing aid you can get a replacement one under this subsidy if your current aid no longer meets your needs and you have had it for five years or longer. Your Audiologist can advise you which hearing aids qualify for the subsidy.

9. What if my hearing aid costs more than $500?
If your hearing aid costs more than $500 the subsidy will be deducted from the total cost you pay for your hearing aid.

10. Where can I get more information?
A pamphlet about the increased subsidy should be available through your GP or Audiology clinic and online at www.disabilityfunding.co.nz.

A fact sheet about the increased subsidy is available online at http://www.moh.govt.nz/moh.nsf/indexmh/disability-fundedservices-hearingsupergold.


ENDS

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