Program offers discount hearing aids for military retirees

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The Department of Defense sponsors the Retiree-At-Cost Hearing Aid Program designed to help military retirees purchase hearing aids through the audiology clinic at a special government-negotiated cost.

The hearing aids available through this program are the same state-of-the art technologies available to active-duty service members, according to program officials. The program is open to all military retirees who have hearing loss or tinnitus (ringing in the ears).  Dependents of military retirees are not eligible for this program.

Program officials report retirees can buy hearing aids at a significant savings by using the program. For example, a set of hearing aids (one of the best available) that retails for about $5,000 costs a retiree as little as $755, or a savings of about 85%.  Services for the hearing evaluation, hearing aid fitting and follow up hearing aid checks are part of the retiree benefits and are available at no cost.

Not every military medical facility can offer the program. Retirees who are traveling to a participating site from out of town, need to compare their travel costs and purchase savings to the costs of purchasing hearing aids privately in their local community. Travel and overnight expenses are not covered. Generally, at least two visits are required for a retiree to get hearing aids; one for the hearing evaluation and one for the hearing aid fitting.

A list of facilities is available online. Facility availability may change occasionally, so program officials advise retirees to call the closest clinic to determine if it is currently participating in the program. 

Military retirees may be eligible for hearing aids from the Department of Veterans Affairs.  If eligible, they can receive hearing aids from VA free of charge in most cases. Click for more information on VA hearing aids, see or call VA directly at 800-827-1000.

Dependents of retirees are not eligible for hearing aid services from military treatment facilities (including RACHAP) or from TRICARE. Family members may be eligible for hearing evaluations, and the audiologist can provide them with more information about hearing aids.  (Courtesy of the Retiree-At-Cost Hearing Aid Program)