In New Zealand, there are various agencies that might be able to help with funding your hearing aids. An audiologist must be a full member of the New Zealand Audiological Society (MNZAS) to be able to access the New Zealand hearing aid funding schemes.
At your appointment, we will discuss the funding options that may apply to you. Here we outline the funding options and give a information about the criteria they require before contributing to hearing aid cost.
- Ministry of Health Hearing Aid Subsidy ($511 per hearing aid)
- Ministry of Health Hearing Aid Funding Scheme
- Accident compensation corporation (ACC)
- War pensions scheme – Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ)
- New Zealand Audiological Society Hearing Aid Bank
- Some health insurance policies will cover you and your children’s hearing assessments
- Some finance companies will provide funding for hearing aids.
The Ministry of health has two levels of funding: Hearing aid subsidy – this is available to all New Zealand residents. You must have a National Health (NHI) number, then we can apply for this subsidy on your behalf. The subsidy is for $511.11 per hearing aid and is available again after 6 years.
Hearing aid funding – is available to people who meet very strict criteria including having a community services card. People who meet the criteria for this scheme are often seen within the public hospital system. Funding covers the cost of the hearing aids, those seen in a private clinic pay a fitting fee.
Children’s hearing aids are provided for free through the public hospital system. This is for children aged 0 to 20, while they are in formal education.
Accident compensation corporation (ACC) has been covering the cost of hearing habilitation for people who have hearing loss due to workplace noise or other accidents since the scheme began in 1974. There have been a couple of changes to the scheme over the past 5 years, now ACC ask claimants to go through an assessment process that includes: obtaining a clear work or accident history, a diagnostic hearing test and a visit with an ear, nose and throat specialist who will assess how much of the hearing loss is from an accident or from noise and how much is from other causes. From here they allocate the ACC funding level. Claimants are able to top up to a higher level or more expensive hearing aids if they choose to. Please follow this link for more details about the recent ACC changes and more details about the assessment process.
At Auckland Hearing, we meet the criteria required for diagnostic hearing assessment ie an MNZAS qualified audiologist, a certified sound-treated room and calibrated and up to date hearing assessment equipment. Please contact us for your appointment.
Veterans Affairs fund hearing aids for those who have a service-related hearing loss. They fund lower end products, and at this stage, there is not an option for top up. We can contact Vet affairs on your behalf if you are eligible for funding. Often militarily related hearing loss is covered by ACC if the service has occurred since 1974.
The New Zealand Audiological Society (NZAS) has a hearing aid bank, with hearing aids donated from various hearing aid manufacturers. There is also a limited amount of money available to fund hearing aids. This money and hearing aids are available for people in extreme financial difficulty. If you feel you meet these criteria, we can apply to the NZAS on your behalf because Maree O’Sullivan is a full member of the NZAS.
People who receive a benefit from WINZ are eligible for a loan for hearing aids. Small amounts are then deducted from the benefit each week until the loan is paid off.