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MedEd Connections Resource Guide: Deaf and Hard of Hearing (D/HH)

Assistance Purchasing Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants, or FM/DM Systems


Are You Planning to Purchase Hearing Assistive Technology (HAT) For Your Child?

When considering hearing aids for your child, an audiologist will be the most experienced professional to help you and your child. An audiologist can assess your child’s hearing and recommend which type of hearing aid and features would be most appropriate given your child’s age and hearing loss.


Purchase of Hearing Aids or FM/DM Systems

The OCALI Lending Library has a limited supply of Frequency Modulation/Digital Modulation (FM/DM) systems for loan to school district audiologists in Ohio. For more information please contact Samantha Brown at OCALI: lendinglibrary@ocali.org or (614) 410-0753.

A school, district, or family themselves may purchase hearing aids or FM/DM systems. Consider the following pros and cons for each.

Pros for family purchase:

  • Your child will have auditory access at home and at school. A child who is learning language through the auditory channel needs access to sound during all waking hours.
  • Any changes that need to be made to your child’s hearing aid can be done by your child’s audiologist.

Cons for family purchase:

  • If the hearing assistive technology (HAT) breaks, the family is responsible for the repair and its cost. Hearing aid warranties for loss and damage can vary. Check with your child’s audiologist for information on loss and damage warranties, as well as extended warranties.

Pros for school purchase:

  • If the HAT breaks, the school will be responsible for the repair and its cost.
  • The HAT will not be lost or forgotten at home because it stays at school.

Cons for school purchase:

  • The HAT may have to stay at school, as it is school property and may not be allowed to go home with your child. As you will want your child to have access to sound during all waking hours to develop language, this may not be a good option.

Educational and medical professionals will work with families to choose the most appropriate HAT for each child. Please note, it is very important that the family works with the school on making HAT purchase choices. What the family uses at home will need to be able to connect with what the school uses.

Below are some additional resources that may be used to obtain HAT or medically related services if your child qualifies.


Cincinnati’s Children Hearing Aid Trust
Phone: (513) 636-CHAT (2428)

The Cincinnati Children’s Hearing Aid Trust (CCHAT) strives to provide Ohio children, from birth to age 3, with their first set of hearing aids or cochlear implants for free.


Medicaid

Medicaid may cover the cost of hearing aids if your child is eligible. The following people may qualify for Medicaid coverage in Ohio:

  • Individuals with low-income
  • Pregnant women, infants, and children
  • Older adults
  • Individuals with disabilities

To be eligible for coverage, you must:

  • Be a United States citizen or meet Medicaid citizenship requirements. Your local county Job and Family Services office can help to explain these requirements and can help get you enrolled.
  • Have or get a Social Security number.
  • Be an Ohio resident.
  • Meet financial requirements.

Even if you are not sure that you or your family will qualify for coverage, you should still apply. Learn more about the financial requirements of different programs or view examples of financial eligibility by monthly income for children, families and adults or aged, blind or disabled individuals.

Non-U.S. citizens may be eligible for Alien Emergency Medical Assistance or Refugee Medical Assistance.

Learn more about Medicaid programs and what to expect once you enroll.

To find out if your child qualifies, please visit: Who Qualifies: Ohio Department of Medicaid


The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Hearing Aid Assistance Program
Phone: (614) 466-3543

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) provides a hearing aid assistance program that helps families purchase hearing aids, external implant sound processors, or Frequency Modulation/Digital Modulation (FM/DM) systems.


Nationwide’s Children's Hospital
Phone: (614) 722-6200

Nationwide Children’s Hospital offers a variety of auditory and speech services. They may be able to assist families in obtaining hearing aids or cochlear implants. You may also use this Directory of Children’s Hospitals in Ohio to find a location near you.


Funding for Audiology Services and Hearing Aids

This resource is a compiled list of groups and organizations which may help families with hearing aid, implant, or auditory service expenses.