Hearing loss can be a devastating reality, whether it is due to a birth defect, trauma or a workplace incident. Yet, people in Michigan are sometimes more likely to have Viagra insured for losing the ability to perform sexually than having their medical bills for hearing loss covered. In fact, according to CNN, hearing loss is not even considered an official disability.
If hearing loss made the list of official disabilities, it would be the largest category in America. Roughly 37 million Americans are affected by hearing loss. As baby boomers retire and millennials put off having children, the population will begin to age. As the population ages, hearing loss becomes even more pronounced.
In 2010, the Affordable Care act attempted to rectify the problem at the birth defect level by expanding coverage to include hearing tests for newborns. Unfortunately, this is the only current provision in place. When insurance companies do not pay for medical bills associated with hearing loss, families must find ways to pay out of pocket for hearing devices that can cost up to $6,000. Is it any wonder why up to 80% of people with hearing loss problems do not wear hearing aids?
Another CNN article calls hearing loss one of the top work injuries. Construction workers are especially at risk. After all, many construction workers spend the majority of their careers surrounded by loud machines, such as jackhammers. When hearing loss occurs through damage to the ear, some people suffer sensitivity to sounds, which can be painful. This can make it impossible for them to work, and if they have no other skillsets, finding a quiet job may not be possible.
What is worse is that when many apply for social security disability, they are often denied. The fact that hearing loss remains largely uninsured and that SSD has very little provisions in place to assist workers who suffer from the condition is why hearing loss is considered one of the costliest disabilities to have in America.