Does OHIP Cover Hearing Tests For Seniors?

Every Ontario citizen is eligible for OHIP for their health care and OHIP covers diagnostic hearing tests directed and conducted by certified health professionals. The question of what OHIP covers in terms of diagnostic hearing tests is apparently creating some confusion. If OHIP is to cover a diagnostic hearing test, a professional who carries out the test should be examined by a certified physician.
Diagnostic hearing tests asked for or arranged by third parties, e.g. employers, school boards, Workplace Safety Insurance Board (WSIB) etc. aren’t covered services. OHIP does NOT pay for third party requests.

Image Credit: Army Medicine

Image Credit: Army Medicine

What is changing?
Hearing aid examination and re-evaluation won’t be covered by OHIP because these services are in the practice of audiology and don’t call for a medical professional to offer or supervise the service. This means it doesn’t pay for hearing aid assessments as it is not a service that requires the skill or supervision of a doctor. Nor are hearing aid assessments covered by any other branch of the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care.
Tinnitus is a problem of whistling, buzzing, or ringing in the ear. A tinnitus masker is a device same as a hearing aid, which produces a sound in the ear to hide other sounds. The assessment for this device won’t be insured by OHIP since it doesn’t require a health care professional to provide or examine the service.

What does OHIP not cover?
Hearing aid assessment and re-evaluation as well as tinnitus masker examination shall no longer be covered services starting July 2001.

Why?
Such services don’t require the skill of a medical doctor to supervise or provide the service.

What does the Assistive Devices Program (ADP) cover?

The Assistive Devices Program might help with the expense of your hearing aid when you are eligible. Your audiologist shall be compensated a dispensing fee for setting up the hearing aid.

The Ministry continues to pay for the fitting of hearing aids under ADP, which funds 75% of the expense of dispensing a hearing aid as much as $500.00 for each ear – once every 36 months, however only an Ontario citizen with an appropriate Ontario Health Number, and with a physical impairment that has affected him/her for 6 months or for a longer time is qualified to apply for this help.
Ref: http://www.health.gov.on.ca/

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