What types of hearing aids does the VA offer?

6 Downvote Report

4 Answers

Katpic

Kathryn Trolenberg, AuD

Doctor of Audiology in Fredericksburg

23 April 2016 - 21642 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.

5 Downvote Comments (1)
Respond to this answer

Your response to this answer

Reader responses

Member Member - about 1 year ago
Avatar unknown

Do you know if the VA offers Widex Beyond iPhone hearing aids?

report hide

Your Response


Scot frink

Christopher S. Frink, MS

Audiologist in Salem

19 August 2016 - 20821 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.

2 Downvote Comment

Your response to this answer


Philip  ellen small 15

Ellen Nathan, MA

Hearing Healthcare Provider in Glendale

29 August 2016 - 20755 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...

1 Downvote Comment

Your response to this answer


Evan bernstein

Evan Bernstein, AuD

Doctor of Audiology in New York

28 August 2016 - 20772 Views

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

0 Downvote Comments (2)
Respond to this answer

Your response to this answer

Reader responses

Member Bruce W. - 10 months ago
Data?1500637868

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.

report hide

Your Response

Member Member - 8 days ago
Avatar unknown

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.

report hide

Your Response

Feedback about this question

Avatar unknown
Member Allison Liberio - about 2 years ago
Alllison headshot 1 %283%29

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.

report hide

Your Response

Top Contributor Christopher S. Frink - almost 2 years ago
Scot frink

Nicely stated.

report hide

Your Response

Member Ian G. - over 1 year ago
Data?1477671574

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!

report audiogram hide

Your Response

Member Bruce W. - 10 months ago
Data?1500637868

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.

report hide

Your Response

Member Shankar N. in Huntsville, Alabama - about 2 years ago
Screen shot 1

Received a ReSound LS 961 2 weeks from the VA And my highs are crystal clear.

report hide

Your Response

Member Member - 3 months ago
Avatar unknown

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.

report hide

Your Response

Member Member - 2 months ago
Avatar unknown

My husband recently passed away. I want to donate his VA issued Phonak hearing aids but don't know the cost for tax purposes.

report hide

Your Response

Member Member - about 1 month ago
Avatar unknown

Technically the Aids belong to the VA and were not your husband's "property". Check with you local VA.

report hide

Your Response

Member Member - about 1 month ago
Avatar unknown

Does the VA offer Lyric hearing aids?

report hide

Your Response

This Website Does Not Provide Medical Advice. All material on this Website is provided for informational purposes only. Inclusion of information on this site does not imply any medical advice, recommendation or warranty. Answers provided should not be considered a substitute for the advice of health professionals who are familiar with your specific medical history. Experts who provide advice via "Expert Answers" assume no liability for the accuracy or completeness of, nor any liability to update, the information provided. Expert answers and comments may be removed at any time, at the discretion of the moderators, without notice.