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Support to double for ACC hearing loss clients

Judith Collins

1 JULY, 2014

Support to double for ACC hearing loss clients

Hearing aid clients can look forward to more choice from today as improvements to hearing loss regulations come into effect, ACC Minister Judith Collins says.

The improvements, announced earlier this year, include increasing ACC’s contributions to the cost of hearing loss treatment, increasing choice for clients, and encouraging greater competition in the hearing aid market.

“It’s important clients have access to the best possible treatment. These changes will increase choice, reduce cost barriers and ensure clients have a better hearing treatment experience,” Ms Collins says.

From today ACC will:

• Increase contributions to the cost of hearing devices

• Allow for multiple repairs for each hearing device, up to a fixed amount

• Introduce new funding for ear moulds

• Include a fixed fitting fee, regardless of the level of covered hearing loss

• Include a separate hearing consultation allowance, letting clients explore purchase and fitting options

• Reduce the previous 10 ‘bands’ used to determine support to three broader bands.

“Clients will be able to shop around for the best price in hearing aids, rather than having to buy where they had the initial test. It’s important clients have the option to look for a cheaper price,” Ms Collins says.

ACC and the Ministry of Health have worked closely with the hearing sector on these changes to ensure hearing loss clients are better informed, supported and have more choice.

Changes are also being developed to meet the needs of children with injury related hearing needs on an individual case-by-case basis as their hearing-related needs can change more rapidly than adults.

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