Rebates and Subsidies for Hearing Services
There are various rebates and subsidies available for Australians to access when it comes to hearing health. These include Medicare, Hearing Services Program (HSP), Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA), National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), private health insurance, and WorkSafe.
Medicare is Australia’s national health care service for Australian citizens and permanent residents. Through Medicare, patients may be eligible for bulk billing or Medicare rebates for audiological assessments at Knox Audiology. Audiological assessments encompass hearing tests, auditory processing evaluations, vestibular function tests, auditory brainstem response tests, and tinnitus tests. To access bulk billed hearing test appointments, the patient must provide a referral from a doctor and be currently holding a pension concession or health care card provided by the government. For other patients with Medicare, we digitally submit the claim on our side so an automatic payment of the rebate can be transferred directly into the patient’s nominated bank account on Medicare.
Hearing Services Program (HSP)
The Hearing Services Program is Australia’s government department that manages the hearing health of the nation. To be eligible for HSP subsidies, the patient must have a pension concession card, DVA Gold Card, DVA White Card, be a member of the Australian Defence Force, or referred by a Disability Employment Service. It should be noted that White Card holders must have “hearing loss” or “tinnitus” stated on the card to be eligible. For those who do not apply to the above conditions may be eligible for HSP via Community Service Obligations (CSO).
CSO is a program under HSP for Australians who are either under 26 years of age, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander (if over 49 years of age or participates in one of the Community Development Programs), require special hearing care, or live remotely. Patients accessing CSO are looked after at Hearing Australia, a government-run hearing clinic.
Patients under HSP access subsidies for hearing aids (including fully subsidised devices), assistive listening devices, hearing tests, counselling, and maintenance of hearing and listening devices (repairs, batteries, etc.). Generally, one fitting of device(s) is allowed per voucher. Vouchers last for 5 years, so once a new voucher is obtained, a new fitting can be claimed. For more information about which devices are eligible for the subsidy, please book an appointment to talk to one of our lovely audiologists!
Department of Veterans’ Affairs
The Department of Veterans’ Affairs is a separate source of subsidies to HSP for additional support for veterans. This includes assistive listening devices and tinnitus treatment. The eligibility criteria also applies for DVA, i.e. veterans who are Gold Card holders or White Card holders with a statement of a hearing-related condition.
National Disability Insurance Scheme
National Disability Insurance Scheme is a government supported service for Australians with disabilities. NDIS participants may also access HSP if they are eligible for the program. The scheme provides additional support that is not available under HSP e.g. assistive technology, support workers, financial support for the HSP annual maintenance fee, and more.
Private Health Insurance
Private health insurances may also have specific policies that offer rebates for hearing-related services and technology. Please contact your private health insurance provider regarding any financial cover for the purchase of hearing devices.
For patients who have noise-induced hearing losses due to their occupation, WorkSafe Victoria offers financial support for hearing rehabilitation. Approval from a WorkSafe Agent is necessary before acquiring any hearing devices. To apply for this service, completion of the Worker’s Injury Claim Form and Employer Injury Claim Report should be submitted.
At Knox Audiology, we take pride in our team of university qualified and experienced audiologists, who are committed to providing trusted, friendly, and professional hearing services, catering to all your unique hearing needs. For more information regarding rebates and subsidies for hearing services, please reach out to us – call 03 9800 5697 or contact us online.