Executives from Siemens Hearing Instruments Inc, Piscataway, NJ, are on Capitol Hill this week promoting the Hearing Aid Tax Credit Act (HR 1646) with members of the Hearing Industries Association (HIA), according to Siemens. Siemens and HIA members plan to meet with Congressional leaders to discuss the proposed legislation that would provide a tax credit of $500 per hearing aid to millions of Americans who need hearing instruments but can’t pay for them, the company says.

Hearing aids are not covered under Medicare, or under the vast majority of state-mandated benefits. The financial responsibility of purchasing a hearing aid falls on consumers, with 71.4% of all purchases involving no third-party payment, according to the HIA. The potential hearing aid market in the United States is estimated to be approximately 35 million people, with only nine million currently being served. Hearing aids may cost $1,800 to $2,000 per ear, the company says.

"The proposed tax credit would have a significant impact on the affordability of hearing instruments, therefore stimulating the hearing aid market," says Tom Powers, PhD, VP of audiology and compliance at Siemens Hearing Instruments.

Siemens executives will discuss the impact the measure would have on the hearing-impaired community, personally and professionally. It is estimated that 95% of individuals with hearing loss could be successfully treated with hearing aids, while only 22 to 23% currently use them, according to MarkeTrak Report, 2009.

[Source: Siemens Hearing Instruments Inc]