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Tricare and hearing aids? (updated in post 6)


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  #1  
April 21st, 2011, 05:59 AM
Xx5Xy1+'s Avatar What's your superpower?
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Wiesbaden, Germany
Posts: 1,428
Hi ladies, I could use your help!

Some background...
I have had tinnitus for over 7 years (since deploying to OIF). It's getting worse so I've been doing more research and found 60% of patients with tinnitus experience relief with hearing aids. Now for the question....

I tried to look up whether or not Tricare would cover them.... According to what's on their website, it's only covered for "profound hearing loss". Anyone have any experience with this? What does Tricare consider "profound". The Army wouldn't do anything for me while I was still on active duty because I could pass the regular hearing test and they didn't have the "specialty equipment" to test for loss associated with tinnitus (when I'm in the booth with the headphones on, I can hear enough of the tones to "pass" but the real world has background noise, and that when I can't clearly hear the conversation in front of me.... I have had to read lips to understand what's being said...even with my kids at home).

Any suggestions? I have an appointment on Friday with my provider and audiology for a new hearing test. I plan to ask for a referral to an ENT if they can't/won't help me.
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Last edited by Xx5Xy1+; April 22nd, 2011 at 11:44 AM.
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  #2  
April 21st, 2011, 06:16 AM
NvyWyf79's Avatar Veteran
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 233
Wow! I would think that what you have would be considered profound. But, I'm no doctor or insurance person. I hope it is considered profound so you can get the hearing aids and that they help. My only advice is to call the Tricare Representative in your area. They will probably be your best chance at getting the answers you need.
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  #3  
April 21st, 2011, 07:04 AM
Xx5Xy1+'s Avatar What's your superpower?
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Thanks. I'm hoping they do too, but my past experience is they won't do anything that might cost them money. Hopefully, the fact that I'll be seen on a Navy base instead of by the army will make a difference (but I'm not holding my breath). However if they don't have the right equipment to test me for hearing loss due to tinnitus, it may not matter how willing they are to help me.

I just hope I don't have to be "that wife" in order to get the help I need lol I have a reputation of being very nice and even understanding on the limitations of clinic service availability....but VERY unhappy about being blown off about things I need.
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Thank you 3Daughters for my AWESOME siggy!


Hoping to add a new member to our family through adoption in August 2011
~*~
I am a sleep deprived, pro-life, homebirth supporting, babywearing, extended breast feeding, cloth diapering, non-vaxing, attachment parenting, conservative thinking, Constitution defending, gun owning, Torah learning, US Army Veteran who is married to her hero... A US Army Soldier! If this offends you, then stop reading my signature!
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  #4  
April 21st, 2011, 08:00 AM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Andrews AFB, MD
Posts: 15,496
We just switched to Tricare Standard and so far I love it.

Unlike you, I am not so patient about the limitations of military clinics. They made me C-R-A-Z-Y. On standard we can see any doctor we want with no referral, and it's so nice.

My guess is that if you get the test results you need and have the doctor code it correctly, than yes they will cover them. I even know women who have had breast reductions on Tricare's dime due to back pain. It's all about what the doctor is willing to do for you.
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  #5  
April 21st, 2011, 11:24 AM
Xx5Xy1+'s Avatar What's your superpower?
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My girls are on the prime version of standard (non-availability) so they can see anyone. They refused to give me a N/A referral to see anyone as my PCM so I have to deal with the clinic.

However, got some potentially bad news and some hopeful news today... Found the definition of "profound hearing loss" basically...hearing a lawnmower is the threshold... So I probably won't qualify as "profound hearing loss"....BUT I talked to a local audiologist and they are a Tricare provider. The lady said that Tricare HAS paid for hearing aids for tinnitus. She said those patients were active duty, but to get the referral to them and if I need one, they'll submit the paperwork and see what happens. So, wish me luck, because if Tricare refuses to pay, the aids START at $1,700 each!
__________________

Thank you 3Daughters for my AWESOME siggy!


Hoping to add a new member to our family through adoption in August 2011
~*~
I am a sleep deprived, pro-life, homebirth supporting, babywearing, extended breast feeding, cloth diapering, non-vaxing, attachment parenting, conservative thinking, Constitution defending, gun owning, Torah learning, US Army Veteran who is married to her hero... A US Army Soldier! If this offends you, then stop reading my signature!
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  #6  
April 22nd, 2011, 11:43 AM
Xx5Xy1+'s Avatar What's your superpower?
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Wiesbaden, Germany
Posts: 1,428
Tricare only covers hearing aids for active duty...which means I'm screwed even though this is a result of line of duty. To add insult to injury, we make too much money for the VA to help me (way to take care of our veterans). They are going to give me a referral to an ENT but what's the point? I'm still going to have to pay for any appliances out of pocket. The local places that do hearing aids and tinnitus maskers offer free testing, a 30 day trial period (with a fully refundable deposit if you decide not to get the aids) and payments. I am so annoyed over the whole situation (on top of all this, found out my girls apparently weren't referred off base they just don't put the children's names on the PCM letters...which is a huge pile of stinking bs! That is getting fixed with some retro-active referrals to cover the appointments they've already have and then I have to fill out a memorandum to request they be referred to their pediatrician as their PCM....ugh!!!!)

Long story short....I'm home now....with a migraine!
__________________

Thank you 3Daughters for my AWESOME siggy!


Hoping to add a new member to our family through adoption in August 2011
~*~
I am a sleep deprived, pro-life, homebirth supporting, babywearing, extended breast feeding, cloth diapering, non-vaxing, attachment parenting, conservative thinking, Constitution defending, gun owning, Torah learning, US Army Veteran who is married to her hero... A US Army Soldier! If this offends you, then stop reading my signature!
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  #7  
April 22nd, 2011, 02:36 PM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Andrews AFB, MD
Posts: 15,496
This is what I found on the Tricare webpage. I really think they are mistaken....active duty family members just means that your dh is on ative duty as opposed to being retired.

Hearing Aids

TRICARE covers hearing aids only for active duty family members who meet specific hearing loss requirements.
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  #8  
April 23rd, 2011, 07:59 PM
Xx5Xy1+'s Avatar What's your superpower?
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Location: Wiesbaden, Germany
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That's what I found too, however those 'specific requirements' are profound deafness...which I'm not.
__________________

Thank you 3Daughters for my AWESOME siggy!


Hoping to add a new member to our family through adoption in August 2011
~*~
I am a sleep deprived, pro-life, homebirth supporting, babywearing, extended breast feeding, cloth diapering, non-vaxing, attachment parenting, conservative thinking, Constitution defending, gun owning, Torah learning, US Army Veteran who is married to her hero... A US Army Soldier! If this offends you, then stop reading my signature!
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  #9  
April 23rd, 2011, 08:36 PM
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Location: Andrews AFB, MD
Posts: 15,496
That really stinks.
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  #10  
May 12th, 2011, 06:45 PM
Xx5Xy1+'s Avatar What's your superpower?
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Wiesbaden, Germany
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Well, tomorrow is the big day! I made myself an appointment with an audiologist and they did the testing and said it's likely hearing aids WILL help not only my tinnitus, but also with the upper frequency sounds that I didn't even realize I was loosing (they were actually able to document the loss...a first for me).

The aids are expensive (almost $1500 EACH), but to my surprise and relief, hubby told me to get them. He said it's a quality of life issue and that is worth the cost if they help. Considering All the money we're having to spend right now ro recover from storm damage (sewers flooded after getting 14" of rain in 3 days, it backed up into my house...big mess), for him to tell me to get the aids is a huge thing.

So, here's to hoping they work. I'll keep you posted.
__________________

Thank you 3Daughters for my AWESOME siggy!


Hoping to add a new member to our family through adoption in August 2011
~*~
I am a sleep deprived, pro-life, homebirth supporting, babywearing, extended breast feeding, cloth diapering, non-vaxing, attachment parenting, conservative thinking, Constitution defending, gun owning, Torah learning, US Army Veteran who is married to her hero... A US Army Soldier! If this offends you, then stop reading my signature!
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