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Help with hearing aid expenses available

POSTED: January 14, 2009 2:24 p.m.
The Coastal Health District is offering to help area residents buy hearing aids, and it’s much needed help, according to Thomas Galey, executive director for the Georgia Council for the Hearing Impaired.
“Hearing aids are incredibly expensive,” Galely said, estimating prices from $2,000 to $7,000 for one.
“And a lot of people prefer two,” he added.
“That’s well over the average person’s income and many insurance companies refuse to cover the cost,” Galey said.
Funds are available for infants and children needing hearing aids.
All of the $3,500 set aside for the district is still available, according to district child health and child special services coordinator, Carman Gibbs.
“We really work with families to ensure that we’re exhausting all resources, in case there’s families that have no other resources,” Gibbs said.
The state sets these funds aside every year for the Universal Newborn Hearing and Screening Initiative and Galey estimates there’s a large percentage of people with hearing loss who can benefit from hearing aids, but just can’t afford them.
GACHI opened a Hinesville branch last year, servicing more than 800 people from last July to December, according to Galey.
Besides its offered services in advocacy and educational programs, inquiries about hearing aids seem to top the list in the local hearing-impaired community, according to Nancy Davis, information referral officer.
“We assist them with programs...and other organizations that help them to get hearing aids for little to nothing,” Davis said. “We’re talking about down to about $150.”
The Georgia Lions Lighthouse is one of the most commonly referred organizations for funding assistance.
The Coastal Health District includes Liberty and seven surrounding counties and district funds will be available until June 30. For more eligibility information, call 1-866-647-0010.

 

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