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6 days ago · Cochlear Implant expenses: How much does it cost? in Hearing Loss

Hi Bill. Good Question. Medicare does cover the costs of a cochlear implant, assuming a person is qualified medically to receive one. There are variables among the Medicare programs that may determine whether or not a co-pay is involved. I was still working when I had my implant. My insurer covered all but $1500 of the surgery and external equipment. On Medicare, I've had to pay about that amount to upgrade processors. (Worth it!) I know other people on Medicare who have been covered 100%. When I have consulted with my Medicare representative when changing Advantage Plans, I got the 'deer in the headlights look' as they don't know what a CI is. You have to go deeper. My CI is from Cochlear Corporation. They will help you figure this out once you qualify for the surgery. I believe the other CI manufacturers will do the same. While I cannot give you the complete answer you are looking for, if you qualify for a cochlear implant, Medicare will cover most of the expenses, but you may have to go the extra mile and fight for it. Medicare will also cover most of the costs of processor upgrades every five years. I hope others will share their experiences on this as they seem to vary.

Sat, May 23 8:57pm · Hearing Loss: Come introduce yourself and connect with others in Hearing Loss

Thank you for sharing this. I'm sorry I missed it. HLAA held a webinar on this topic last week. It is posted on the website for review if anyone would like to see it. Lots of good questions were asked. Everyone reads lips or 'speechreads', even people who hear well. But, for people with hearing loss it's a huge problem. We may not have ever had training on lip reading, but we learn by osmosis. It's how we cope. There are several speech to text apps that may help you in tricky situations. Live Transcribe works on Android smart phones. For iPhones there is Otter io. I used Otter the other day at a doctor's appointment and it worked well. When we use these devices it also educates those whom we want or need to hear that technology matters for us. It's a chance to share information. I've often found that when I 'go public' with my hearing loss by using visible add on technology that people are fascinated. More often than not they will tell me they know someone who needs to know about it. This mask issue is not going to go away soon, so we have to find ways to help ourselves. We are definitely all in this together. Check out that HLAA webinar at http://www.hearingloss.org

Mon, May 18 3:34pm · Training Materials For Hospital Staff-Hearing Loss Patients in Hearing Loss

Where are you located? I have done some trainings in this area in Wisconsin, but it was 'pre masking' era, although the issue of face coverings was included in the training. We are working on something similar here again. May be able to collaborate, or put you in touch with someone who is involved in developing a new program in Wisconsin. We know that this issue is NOT commonly understood of by hospital personnel. The ADA covers a lot, but many do not related it to communication.

Thu, May 14 11:16am · Hearing Loss: Come introduce yourself and connect with others in Hearing Loss

I do not use the voice to text app often, but know others who use it all the time. The ones most heralded are Live Transcribe for Android phones, and Otter ai for iPhones. Both apps are free. I've experimented with Otter ai, and am amazed at how well it picks up speech. Like anything with a microphone, in an environment with background noise, or others talking besides the one you want to hear, you will see some confusion. The trick is to get your device as close to the desired speaker as possible. Not exactly easy when you also have to read it. I use Otter ai on ZOOM conferencing by putting it right near the computer speaker. It works welle

There are other assistive technologies that can be used in conversational settings. I've been using an 'extension' microphone for decades in 'cocktail party atmospheres', which includes everything from parties to church coffee socials! The hearing aids have to have telecoils to connect to most technology, although BlueTooth will also do the job. Your provider should be able to tell you more about that.

Thu, May 14 10:05am · Hearing Loss: Come introduce yourself and connect with others in Hearing Loss

FYI: I just checked the national HLAA website. http://www.hearingloss.org There are 3 HLAA chapters in Oregon, plus a state association. There are only 13 states that have state associations, so that's a very positive thing for Oregonians. HLAA held a national convention in Portland 6 years ago. The key to receiving help from HLAA is to get involved and meet the people. I have learned more from HLAA people than from all the hearing healthcare professionals I've seen over the last 40 years. Not meaning to diss the pros, but pointing out that self help and peer support is extremely helpful. AND, a lot of the technology that's available to use today is the result of HLAA folks pushing research and development. I go back to the days when we were creating our own induction loops out of telephone wire, amplifiers and microphones from Radio Shack. We saw what worked and pushed it. We let the research bodies know there was a huge difference between being hard of hearing and wanting to remain in the hearing mainstream, than identifying as culturally Deaf with a preference for sign language. It took millions of people from all over the USA, coming out of their hard of hearing closets to start making hearing loss an issue of concern. Until 1988, the National Institutes of Health didn't even have a division to address communication disorders. HLAA was founded in 1979. Yes, I admit to being an HLAA advocate. I give this organization, which was originally called Self Help for Hard of Hearing People, Inc. credit for giving me back my life!

Thu, May 14 9:39am · Hearing Loss: Come introduce yourself and connect with others in Hearing Loss

The telephone can be a problem, but technology available can remedy that. Get a captioned telephone. CapTel and CaptionCall are the two prime providers. They require landline connections, so work everywhere. There's a cell phone app called Innocaption that works with cell phones. You're hearing healthcare providers should be sharing this information with you IF you tell them about the issues you have that are problematic. There's a heck of a lot more to helping hard of hearing people than simply putting a hearing aid in their ear! They must also do some counseling, which means asking about your life, your lifestyle, the things you enjoy, and perhaps miss doing, etc. By the way, those captioned phones are free in most instances when you have a diagnosed hearing loss. Your state office or commission for deaf and hard of hearing will have information. Each state is a bit different, but they all have departments of health and human services that cover disability issues.

Wed, May 13 10:11pm · Hearing Loss: Come introduce yourself and connect with others in Hearing Loss


Welcome to this discussion group. It's very difficult to go from the normal hearing world to being clinically deaf. Most of us who have adult onset hearing loss (AOHL) want to remain in the hearing mainstream, and will do whatever it takes to do that. While my AOHL has been progressive over many years, I did grow up with normal hearing and developed language skills accordingly. We are very different from those who were born deaf or who became deaf prior to the full acquisition of language. Language includes speaking, reading and writing. If the steroid treatments do not work for you, I encourage you to consider a cochlear implant. You would have to go to a cochlear implant center for evaluation. Chances are, there is such a place within a reasonable distance of where you live. It may be your best chance to remain in the hearing mainstream. American Sign Language (ASL) is a wonderful tool, but the reality is; few people use it. It's like any other foreign language. You have to learn it and find others who use it to share it with. Most of us have hearing families, spouses, friends, co-workers, etc. Expecting them all to learn ASL because you need it is not reality. Yes, it may help you in some situations, and yes, it's a beautiful language. But it is not universal, so it will only help you of others you associate with also learn it. Technology has evolved over the last few decades to a point where profound hearing loss can be helped in most cases. Life will never be the same, but it will be good. If there is an HLAA Chapter in your area, find time to attend a meeting. Many of the people who participate in HLAA share your experience. http://www.hearingloss.org I hope this is helpful. While my hearing loss was gradual over time, it ruled my life until I found ways to help myself. The cochlear implant was the frosting on the cake!

Wed, May 13 11:47am · My Cochlear Implant - a journal in Hearing Loss

Welcome to the bimodal world! CIs Rock! So glad you've had such a good experience!