Greater self-confidence, improved or restored relationships, and an enhanced quality of life are among the benefits of better hearing through hearing care.

Consequently, it is disturbing to learn that out of the 48 million Americans with a hearing loss, only one in five individuals who would benefit from hearing aids use them.

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In addition to these statistics, the National Institute of Health also reports that people with a hearing loss usually wait between seven and ten years before requesting the help they need.

From experience, I know that at or near the top of a long list of reasons people put off seeking help for their hearing loss is due to an inability to pay for treatment combined with a lack of financial assistance from insurance companies.

When I heard that the School Employees Benefits Board (SEBB) in Washington established a program for school district staff in the Tri-Cities and Walla Walla area to qualify for free or low-cost hearing care, I couldn’t wait to tell you about it.

The Hearing Care Program of the School Employees Benefits Board

The program extends to school district staff ages 21 or over as of January 1, 2019, who meet specific hearing loss criteria and demonstrate a medically diagnosed need for hearing aids.

How Does the SEBB Program Work with Individuals with Washington State Insurance?

Under the program, patients may have to pay the standard rate for a routine hearing exam each calendar year, but those who require hearing aids for treating their hearing loss will receive financial assistance to purchase a single hearing aid or instrument set for both ears every five calendar years. This means qualified patients will pay $0 for:

  • Earmold(s)
  • The hearing instrument
  • Batteries, cords, and other ancillary equipment (external components of cochlear implants and bone-anchored hearing aid devices) included in the initial purchase
  • Warranty (as part of the initial purchase)
  • Follow-up consultation within 30 days after hearing aid fitting
  • Hearing aid rental charges up to 30 days
  • Hearing instrument maintenance and repair

Not included in the program’s coverage are:

  • Charges incurred after coverage expires
  • Extended warranties or warranties added after the initial purchase of the device(s)
  • Replacement batteries or other ancillary equipment not included in the initial purchase

Sound Audiology Will Help Check Your Washington State Coverage

Early detection and treatment limit the ongoing damage that occurs when you leave your hearing loss untreated and allows you to continue to enjoy your quality of life and rewarding lifestyle.

The team and I at Sound Audiology and Hearing Aids are passionate about making sure you receive all the help you need for your hearing loss without waiting for it to become a major health challenge.

The SEBB program makes it easier for us to meet your hearing care needs with little to no cost to you.

Keep in mind that the SEBB plan is not one-size-fits-all, so we encourage you to contact our insurance specialist for help with checking your coverage.

Call us or simply provide the requested information on our check my insurance form.

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Lori Losey Lovato MA, FAAA, Audiologist

Lori Losey Lovato MA, FAAA, Audiologist

Lori attended Washington State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in speech and hearing sciences and her master’s degree in audiology. She began practicing audiology in the Tri-Cities in 1993 and has worked with both adult and pediatric patients. She has spent her career focused on assisting those with hearing difficulties through the use of hearing aids, listening strategies, assistive devices, and counseling.