Better access for hearing aid clientsACC
The Accident Compensation Corporation will significantly improve access to treatment for clients with hearing loss, ACC Minister Judith Collins announced today.
“We’re addressing cost barriers as well as improving competition in the market to ensure clients with hearing loss have better access to the help they are entitled to,” says Ms Collins.
The changes, which will take effect from 1 July 2014, include increasing choice for clients, allowing multiple repairs to each hearing aid and increasing ACC contributions to the cost of the device.
ACC will now pay a separate hearing consultation allowance. Following consultation, clients with hearing loss covered by ACC can explore hearing aid purchase and fitting options with a different audiologist.
ACC will pay a fixed fitting fee, regardless of the degree of covered hearing loss, so more clients have access to fitting of hearing devices regardless of the extent of hearing loss.
“Clients won’t necessarily have to purchase hearing aids and have them fitted where they had the hearing test,” Ms Collins says.
“It’s important clients have the option of taking their results to different providers if they choose to look for a cheaper price.”
Ms Collins says ACC and the Ministry of Health have worked closely with the hearing sector on the changes to ensure those needing hearing support are better informed and have more choice.
Other changes include an adjustment to the Cost of Treatment payments from 1 April this year with an increase of 1.78 per cent more for regulated rehabilitation payments to treatment providers – including GPs and physiotherapists.
Changes are also being developed to meet the needs of children with injury related hearing needs on an individual case-by-case basis.
For more information see http://www.acc.co.nz/making-a-claim/what-support-can-i-get/services-for-hearing-loss/WPC133463