Irish Questions about Hearing Aids
Today’s article has an Irish connection, I quite often get asked several questions about funding and availability of hearing aids in Ireland. Basically, they are the same questions again and again, so I thought to myself, you should write an article about that, so I did, and here it is.
Are Hearing Aids Covered by VHI?
Unfortunately no, they are not, however, many of the health insurers will make a contribution towards a hearing test if your plan covers it.
Are Hearing Aids Tax Deductible in Ireland?
Yes, they are, you can claim for the cost of hearing aids on your Med 1 and you will receive tax relief on the price you paid for your hearing aids. If you have been able to avail of the government grant towards your hearing aids, you can claim against the balance that you paid. I believe that the rate of tax relief is 20%, however, I may stand corrected.
Are Hearing Aids Covered by The Medical Card
Yes, they are, if you hold a medical card and you need hearing aids well then you can avail of the public health service. If you are over fifty-five, your first port of call will be your GP, he can then refer you to the HSE Adult Community Audiology Service.
If you are under fifty-five, well then your GP should refer you to an ENT, who will probably then refer you to the Audiology Service. The reason for this is simply that under fifty-five is generally a bit young for a hearing loss so the best route is to an ENT to see if anything nefarious is going on.
Is There Hearing Aid Funding in Ireland?
Yes, but there is only one route to funding. The only hearing aid funding available in Ireland is through the treatment benefit scheme which is commonly known as the hearing aid grant. Access to the scheme is managed by the Department of Social and Family Affairs and qualification for the hearing aid grant is based on social insurance contributions. Qualification parameters for the treatment benefit scheme were changed by Leo Varadkar in March 2017 and people who are self-employed can now get access to the hearing aid grant.
As I am asked more questions about the availability of hearing aids in Ireland, I will write the answers here.