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What types of hearing aids does the VA offer?

Kathryn Trolenberg, AuD

Doctor of Audiology in Fredericksburg

23 April 2016 - 29.8K Views

The Veteran’s Administration has contracts in place with six major hearing aid manufacturers - GN ReSound, Oticon, Phonak, Siemens (Signia), Starkey, and Widex. The VA uses the manufacturer’s premium levels of technology-the same hearing aids that sell for the highest prices in the private sector. There are several styles of hearing aids available, from the smallest - Invisible in the Canal (IIC) to the largest and strongest - Power Behind the Ear (BTE), and the very popular Receiver in the Canal (RIC) - made to fit most hearing losses while remaining nearly unseen. VA contracts are updated twice per year, and new technology is constantly emerging and available for use as a result.

When it comes to making recommendations for amplification, the audiologist and Veteran will consider the Veteran’s hearing loss, lifestyle, listening situations, and preferences before making a selection. For some Veterans, additional accessories such as remote controls, TV streamers, Bluetooth cell phone connections, or remote microphones, may be recommended based on the Veteran’s specific concerns or problems. It is important to remember that what works for one person won’t always work for another, and that your audiologist wouldn’t recommend a product for you that would be inappropriate. Hearing aids provided by the VA include a three-year manufacturer’s warranty for loss/damage/repair. The VA also supplies batteries, wax guards, domes, and other supplies required for maintaining the hearing aids, and these can be re-ordered as needed by the Veteran.

For more information on scheduling a hearing test and/or hearing aid services, contact your local VA Medical Center’s Audiology Department. Veterans Health Administration Locations.

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Member
Member 24 May 2017
Do you know if the VA offers Widex Beyond iPhone hearing aids?

Christopher S. Frink, AuD

Audiologist in Salem

19 August 2016 - 29K Views

To add to what Kathryn said, the VA only fits top-level technology.  This is primarily because they fit 20% of the hearing aids in the United States--10% of the hearing aids in the world!  This means they have huge purchasing power and get the instruments at a significant discount (approximately 80% off the wholesale list price).  

This being the case, anyone with military experience who suspects they may be a candidate for hearing aids through the VA should exhaust their options there before purchasing from a retail location (like my own; I'm in private practice and make my living sellin hearing aids, but I also believe this is a better option for our veterans).  The VA system can take time to get through, but they will only get fit with the best technology if they can "tough it out."

In some regions, the VA has partnered with private practices to do their work for them if the veteran lives a significant distance from a VA facility or the wait time for service at their local VA facility is too long.  In these instances, they can ask to see a local provider who the VA has approved to do the work for them.  There is not guarantee they will authorize it, but it is worth asking.

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Ellen Nathan, MA

Hearing Healthcare Provider in Glendale

29 August 2016 - 28.9K Views

Typically they give you top of the line!  If you want a specific brand or type you have to ask for it.  Otherwise, they will dispense what the Audiologist is comfortable with...

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Member
Member 12 November 2018
I have been getting my aids from the VA for over 13 years and I have learned to ask for what I want and need to make my life better. And I agree it depends a lot on the Aud, but the VA has never let me down and they have a good return policy. 

Evan Bernstein, AuD

Doctor of Audiology in New York

28 August 2016 - 29K Views

Depending on the location, they can offer pretty much any of the major manufactures.

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Bruce W.
Bruce W. 26 September 2017
Since the orders aren't processed locally, the location should not have an impact. I've become very close with the Audiologists at my VA Clinic and they all have stated that an order is placed with the central depot and shipped directly back to the center. They are then set and the patient is called in for adjustments and issue. That's how it worked for me. In addition, I order my consumable supplies (cones, batteries, etc.) online and get them within a few business days.
Member
Member 10 July 2018
I received a pair of Oticon OPN 1 aids from the VA in Newington , CT a few weeks ago and I am so impressed with how wonderful they are. My previous aids were Siemens and were 6 years old. These are so much better due probably to advances in technology and advances specifically with the Oticon products. I hear very well in all environments without the need for special programs based on the type of environment I am in. The VA Audiologist’s were great, did a very thorough hearing test on and recommended Oticon specifically based on my hearing loss. The VA even provided a TV transmitter to stream audio direct to my aids. I am so thankful that I didn’t have to pay the retail cost for these aids as I did for my last 2 sets of aids. Thank you VA.
Member
Member 12 November 2018
I live in Hot Springs Arkansas we have a new clinic and I was the second patient for this new clinic and I will get my new OPN1s in early December, and they will be the newest custom ITE aids with full connectivity. And I will be getting the connect clip, TV connect and phone connect. 

Discussion

Allison  Liberio
Allison Liberio 01 June 2016
I have had patients tell me "I have hearing aids, but I got them at the VA, so I don't know if they are any good." That is not true. The VA supplies great hearing aids, but with any hearing aid, follow up appointments are needed to fine tune it to make sure you are hearing well. A lot of times, veterans pick up the hearing aids and never return, then assume that they were not given good hearing aids. As inconvenient as your VA may be, making time for follow ups will make the difference on how well the hearing aids work for you. You may also find a local audiologist who will fine tune them for a fee.
Ian G.
Ian G. 28 October 2016 Replied to Allison Liberio
My VA Clinic in Viera, Florida just went to walk in appointments in the Audiology department. I thought it might be a problem but have used it three times and was sen in less than an hour from when I arrived. Hopefully this is happening VA wide!
Bruce W.
Bruce W. 26 September 2017 Replied to Ian G.
It is the long term plan. Not possible her in the DC area yet. All VA facilities here are pretty much maxed out. Being 50% disabled, I have been able to schedule most things, but definitely not everything.
Member
Member 12 November 2018 Replied to Allison Liberio

This is true, and there are many that feel the aids are being pushed on them and they don’t need them. 

Sometimes it can take longer than I would like to get an appointment for adjustments, then at some clinics they have walk in service for hearing aid adjustments and repairs. 

I have found to be panda stay on the top of them if I need help. 

Shankar N.
Shankar N. 30 June 2016
Received a ReSound LS 961 2 weeks from the VA And my highs are crystal clear.
Member
Member 06 April 2018
Just to add a positive note for the VA ... I had already purchased my hearing aids before I began to receive health care from the VA. I went to my local VA Audiology Clinic for an exam, and although the HA's I had were not a brand that they normally provide, they ordered the software and had it installed on their computer system so that they could program my HA's. I was really impressed by the lengths they went to accommodate and service me.
Member
Member 18 May 2018
My husband recently passed away. I want to donate his VA issued Phonak hearing aids but don't know the cost for tax purposes.
Member
Member 06 June 2018 Replied to Member
Technically the Aids belong to the VA and were not your husband's "property". Check with you local VA.
Member
Member 23 October 2018 Replied to Member
Hearing aids are a prosthetic and the property of the Veteran.
Member
Member 12 November 2018 Replied to Member
They VA no longer want the hearing aids or extras back I have even tried to return them.
Member
Member 18 November 2018 Replied to Member
I sure could use them maveteran@gmail.com
Member
Member 14 June 2018
Does the VA offer Lyric hearing aids?
Member
Member 12 November 2018 Replied to Member
I believe so I saw some samples at the large clinic in Austin Te
Member
Member 07 August 2018
I believe I have Phonak hearing aids and they have thus far been less than satisfactory. I got them from the VA a year or so ago and the first time they failed I'd had them a few months and they had to go back to the company so I was without them for two weeks. Now they have failed once again. Shortly after I got them back they began working intermittently. Now they don't work at all. Again. I was told that they would cost four thousand dollars if purchased on the regular market. I can't imagine how much they would cost if they actually worked. Vietnam veteran
Member
Member 15 October 2018 Replied to Member
Try the Oticon they now have them with bluetooth. They are very good and get the streamer for your TV. It works great and helps you from missing words.
Member
Member 23 October 2018 Replied to Member
That's unfortunate. Both myself and a coworker have Phonak BTE hearing aids from the VA and they have been great. You may have received a pair of lemons. It happens with any item. Hope they get you straightened out.
Member
Member 12 November 2018 Replied to Member
Stay after your Audi if they are that much trouble they may replace them. I have had issues with my aids before and got new aids sooner then the normal replacement time.
Member
Member 20 November 2018 Replied to Member
What is the normal replacement time
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