To the editor:
This was me in 2017. My patient wife suggested an audiologist appointment to determine whether I needed hearing aids and to get an estimate of their cost. The resultant report was yes, I had significant hearing loss. The fee for the hearing aids that were recommended? $1,750 each – $3,500 for both – and that was with the $750 each that my generous (at that time) insurance would cover. We decided we couldn’t afford them.
Fast forward to December 2019. I received a letter from my insurance company saying they would now cover the cost of hearing aids beginning in January 2020. I immediately made an appointment and was hearing better by mid-February. The cost to me for a pair of $5,000 hearing aids that can link to my phone, take calls, and enable me to listen to podcasts without bothering anyone else with the sound? $4! Yes, you read that correctly, four dollars.
Why did the insurance company decide to cover my need? Was it because they suddenly decided that, yes, everyone should have the benefits of decent hearing and be able to interact in a meaningful manner with their spouses, friends, and neighbors?
Nope. It was the Democratically-led legislature and Gov. Janet Mills who broadened not only who is covered but the actual coverage all Mainers receive from their healthcare insurance.
This didn’t happen as a result of politically-charged rhetoric. It was the Democratic legislature and a governor whose leadership style is to carefully examine all sides of an issue, make a determination, and then act in a manner that provides the most benefit to the most residents of this magnificent state.
And, as you may have heard, hearing aids will soon be available over-the-counter for those who wish to go that route. Thank you again, Democrats.
If you want to continue this sort of leadership – leadership Maine can be proud of that actually helps the little guy (and gal) overcome real issues that improve their lives – join me in supporting Gov. Janet Mills and return a Democratically-led legislature to Augusta in November.
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