France: finally measures to improve access to care


hearing aid reimbursement in France
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On December 2, the French government announced measures aimed at improving access to care for people with disabilities, specifically in the areas of hearing aids and dental care.

According to the press release by the CIH (Inter-ministerial Committee for Disabilities), the aim is to ensure solvency of supply concerning entry-level hearing aids. “The price would be controlled by a ceiling price so that the person no longer has any remaining amount to pay after reimbursement by the national health insurance scheme and top-up insurance. A budget of 47 million Euros has been allocated to this measure.” This project, which implies in particular a revision of the nomenclature, will be launched from the first semester of 2017.

The government’s assessment is clear: “Hearing aid devices are not sufficiently covered by health insurance and top-up insurance even though they make a significant contribution to improving the quality of life of people with hearing disorders. Currently, the remaining amount to pay by the individual is high and may represent an obstacle to accessing these devices.”

This is a major step forward for the hearing aid sector and for patients. It is also a victory for professional representative organizations who have been advocating this change for a long time.

In a press release on December 5, the Unsaf (National Union of French Hearing Aid Professionals) welcomed this improvement in reimbursement of hearing aids, “in favor of patients and public health”. The union emphasizes that this measure must be associated with a review of the regulations on hearing aids in order to maintain the high level of satisfaction of people who benefit from hearing aids in France, the best in Europe, and to put an end to misleading practices. Unsaf also points out that it would like to see this measure implemented rapidly to meet the needs of many patients who are hesitating about getting hearing aids because of the high remaining amount.

Source: Audio Infos France