How To Get Subsidised Hearing Aids for Pensioners (HSP)

June 14, 2024

The Hearing Services Program (HSP) is an Australian government scheme that provides significant subsidies for pensioners and other applicable individuals to cover the cost of hearing aids and other hearing services. 

If you are a senior individual looking to get a pair of hearing aids, you may be able to get the costs subsidised with the HSP. We’ve prepared this guide to walk you through everything you need to know about the initiative, from who is eligible, how much you may be eligible for, and the type of hearing aids that are eligible for subsidy. 

Who is eligible for the Hearing Services Program (HSP)? 

To be eligible for the HSP, you must be: 

  • an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or live on Norfolk Island
  • a pensioner concession card holder or their spouse
  • a Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) Gold Card holder or their spouse
  • a DVA White Card holder (hearing-specific conditions) or their spouse
  • a member of the Australian Defence Force
  • referred by a Disability Employment Service

Senior citizens should take note that having a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card alone will not provide eligibility for the HSP. 

How does the HSP work? 

The HSP provides subsidies across an extensive range of hearing services and products for pensioners. For hearing aids pensioners can access a subsidy once every five years — the exact amount of this subsidy will depend on the model and type of the hearing aid device. 

To enjoy the subsidy, pensioners can simply enquire at a hearing aid provider registered with the HSP. As part of the process, providers will typically perform a hearing assessment (the cost of which is also covered by the HSP) before recommending suitable hearing aid devices. 

From there, the provider will be able to check the amount of subsidy applicable for the chosen hearing aid device and provide you with a quote for any out-of-pocket cost involved. You will then be able to make a decision on the type of hearing aid you want to purchase under subsidy. 

Hearing aid prices for pensioners under the HSP

So, how much can you expect to pay for a hearing device after the HSP subsidy? 

The subsidy coverage for hearing aid devices will depend on the type of hearing aid, but in general, there are two ways it can work:

  1. Full coverage of the hearing aid device, meaning that it can be purchased at no cost. 
  2. Partial coverage of the hearing aid device, requiring the remaining cost to be paid. 

Most hearing aid providers have a wide collection of devices that include both fully subsidised and partially subsidised options. 

Which hearing aids are free for pensioners?

Fully subsidised hearing devices are the “free” option for pensioners, in that they will not require any payment to get them. Free pensioner hearing aids offer an affordable way to experience better hearing and an overall quality of life. 

Should I choose a fully or partially subsidised hearing device?

All types of hearing devices covered by the HSP are able to offer at least a basic level of sound amplification to suit most hearing conditions. 

However, the main difference between fully and partially subsidised hearing devices is usually regarding the feature set they possess. Partially subsidised hearing devices usually come with additional automated features that can enhance the listening experience in complex listening environments where there is competing background noise. For example,  helping you engage and enjoy conversation during a family gathering at the dinner table or during an outing with friends at a busy cafe or restaurant. 

That being said, these extra features are not essential as fully subsidised hearing aids can provide a high quality of sound in most daily communication environments. Some high-end features such as Bluetooth connectivity for wireless phone calls and media streaming are now inherent in many fully subsidised hearing aid models. 

Ultimately, the decision between getting a fully or partially subsidised hearing device will depend on your unique needs and preferences, as well as how much you are willing to invest in optional quality-of-life features. 

If you are looking to make use of the HSP subsidy to get a hearing aid, a trusted hearing aid provider such as Harmony Hearing will be able to help you find one that suits your specific hearing ability. As a registered hearing aid provider under the Hearing Services Program, we can provide everything you need to get subsidised hearing aids as a pensioner. Browse our hearing aid collection online or contact us today to book an initial consultation with us!

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