What types of hearing aids does the VA offer?

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Kathryn Trolenberg, AuD - Doctor of Audiology in Hampton

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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Scot frink
Christopher S. Frink, MS - Audiologist in Salem

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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Philip  ellen small 15
Ellen Nathan, MA - Hearing Healthcare Provider in Glendale

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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Evan bernstein
Evan Bernstein, AuD - Doctor of Audiology in New York

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

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Member Allison Liberio - 11 months ago
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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.

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Hearing Oracle Christopher S. Frink - 8 months ago
Scot frink

Nicely stated.

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Member Ian G. - 6 months ago

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!

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Member Shankar N. in Huntsville, Alabama - 10 months ago
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Received a ReSound LS 961 2 weeks from the VA And my highs are crystal clear.

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