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    • CommentTimeMar 26th 2012 edited
    Hi everyone. I've been here on Whitechapel for quite a few years now, and although I am not the most active poster, I am often floating around this wonderful community. I decided to post here because, for the most part, this place is full of smart, insightful, and caring individuals. Here's my story...

    I am a 23-year-old female, and today is the first time in about six years that I haven't worn my hearing aids, and it isn't by choice. Both of them became non-functioning at about 1am this morning. They are both old and outdated, which makes them harder and harder to repair whenever something like this happens.

    title or description

    I was born with a genetic condition called Osteogenesis Imperfecta. Though I was "lucky" enough to be born with Type 1 O.I. (the mildest form of it), it has still affected my life negatively. As a child I broke more bones than I can count (I have broken both arms several times, my left knee, my right ankle, several fingers and toes), I developed scoliosis in my late teens, and I have a significant amount of hearing loss in both my ears. The gradual hearing loss has definitely affected my quality of life the most. I miss being able to go swimming at the beach with friends without feeling anxious about not being able to hear them in the water. I hate that I have to constantly worry about losing my job because I've taken days off to get my hearing aids repaired.

    The reason I am writing here today is because I am desperate for a solution. Hearing aids are extremely costly and aren't covered by my New York Medicaid/Fidelis health insurance because they are not considered a necessity. (Which is absurd because without them I would not have been able to complete high school, attend and graduate college, or find a job). I am very interested in undergoing a stapedectomy, which is a simple surgery that replaces the small bones within the ear to return one's hearing to normal levels. This surgery, however, is also very costly.

    Have you been in a similar situation to mine? Have you found any solutions? Did you find a way to work with your health insurance to lower the cost of hearing aids or surgery? Should I try to start some sort of collection to raise money? Any suggestions would be helpful. I would love to hear from fellow deaf/hard of hearing individuals, from people who work in the healthcare field, from those who work for hearing aid companies, anything.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this. I've gone and posted this on my personal blog, on reddit, and here because I'm trying to get any advice people have to offer.
  1.  (10572.2)
    Hi Radicaldoubt.

    I can't help myself. but I've pointed this thread out to a friend who wears two hearing aids. If she comes back with anything useful I'll pass it on
  2.  (10572.3)
    i work in healthcare, and as a disclaimer, every states medicaid rules are different, so sometimes my advice isnt that helpful to people outside of Arizona


    hearing aids fall under the DME (durable medical equipment) benefit department seperate from normal medical insurance coverage. have you gotten a hard, in-writing denial for the hearing aid replacements? thats almost always an appealable issue, especially if your hearing has been degrading since birth and they would have clear case history proving necessity. the sad truth is that a lot of doctors or their staff just dont like to deal with DME auths if they can avoid it and its very possible that the person telling you they werent covered before just didnt want/wasnt well educated in their job. it happens A LOT. my wife has all sorts of issues, and after we met, she has gotten much better care just by having someone on her side that knows what can and cant be done therough our state medicaid.
  3.  (10572.4)
    Thank you both!

    My audiologist and my health insurance have both said that I would need to pay out of pocket when I first got my hearing aids, but I'm much more willing to make a fuss now than I was back then. I have an appointment with my audiologist today and will talk to her about a DME authorization. Thank you!

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