McMaster UniversityMcMaster University Retirees Association (MURA)

Hearing Aid Benefit, Summer 2013 & Winter 2010

July 28, 2013 7:19 PM | Anonymous

Hearing Aid Funding, Winter 2010

The Ontario government's Assistive Devices (ADP) Program provides funding for hearing aids for all adults that have a long-term hearing loss who have a valid Ontario health card. Coverage is 75% up to $500 per ear. For more information see the Ontario Assistive Devices Program web pages or phone: 1-800-268-6021 (In Toronto: 416-327-8804)

You may have additional coverage for hearing aids through Sun Life depending on what benefit plan you belong to. Note that the university retiree benefit plans vary greatly with regard to reimbursement for hearing aids. Those in salaried plans 4 (Faculty, Librarians, TMG and CAW) have hearing aid coverage for some additional reimbursement to that provided by the ADP program for two hearing aids. People in plans 1, 2, 3 and hourly plan 4 have some additional coverage beyond ADP reimbursement, but only in cases of hearing aids required as a result of accidents.

It is wise to check your benefits plan booklet or to contact Human Resources Services to determine your Sun Life coverage. Phone: 905-525-9140. Ext. 26466, e-mail: working@mcmaster.ca or check the Human Resources Retiree Information page.  

Sun Life Hearing Aid Coverage is for Both Ears, Summer 2013

When claiming reimbursement from Sun Life for hearing aids, retirees should be aware that reimbursement for those with hearing aid coverage is not limited to only one hearing aid. If hearing aids are prescribed for both ears Sun Life should reimburse you for both aids, according to the terms of most retiree benefit plans.

MURA has heard recently that Sun Life has often reimbursed retirees for only one hearing aid in cases where the retiree purchased (and had a prescription for) two hearing aids. Retirees who inquired about this with Sun Life were often misinformed and told that McMaster’s policy was to provide reimbursement for only one hearing aid.

The university retiree benefit plans vary greatly with regard to reimbursement for hearing aids. The plans for more recent salaried retirees provide reimbursement up to a maximum amount every 3 benefit years, while older salaried plans and most hourly plans restrict coverage to hearing aids required as a result of accidents.

Whatever your coverage, it applies to both ears. For example, your plan may state "We will cover 75% of the costs of hearing aids prescribed by an ear, nose and throat specialist, up to a maximum of $500 per person over a period of 3 benefit years. Repairs are included in this maximum. In those cases where hearing aids for both ears are prescribed, the claimant may receive reimbursement for the second hearing aid under the same conditions." Reimbursement in this case is for up to $500 per hearing aid, depending on the cost of the aids; e.g. a maximum of $1000 with a prescription for two hearings aids.

MURA has been informed that Sun Life has recently reviewed hearing aid claims back to 2010 and reprocessed as needed. They will also be doing monthly audits going forward. If you have had a prescription for two hearing aids and received only reimbursement for one aid from your retiree benefit plan, Sun Life should have contacted you in early June and provided you with an additional amount. If you think you qualify and have not received this additional reimbursement from Sun Life, please contact your HR advisor at 905-525-9140, extension 22247 (222HR)

For information about your benefits and Sun Life coverage check your benefits plan booklet (booklets for most plans are available) at Human Resources Retiree Information, contact Human Resources Services at 905-525-9140, Ext. 22247, or call Sun Life at 1-800-361-6212. 

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