Hearing loss affects over 1 million Michiganders, or 10% of the state population. In fact, over 27% of all Michigan households include an individual with some degree of hearing loss. Despite these staggering percentages and the fact that hearing aids could treat 95% of all hearing loss, Medicare and most insurance policies expressly exclude coverage, making treatment an expensive endeavor. To help address this often neglected problem, the Michigan Senate has unanimously passed S.403, a state tax credit for people who need hearing aids. The bill, which is similar to proposed federal legislation, would provide a $1,500 tax credit for hearing aid purchase (so $750 per device if 2 hearing aids needed) for people who are over 60 years old or for dependents (children). The credit would be limited to people making less than $100,000/year.

With an average cost of $1,675 including fitting, evaluation and post-fitting treatment, hearing loss can result in unexpectedly high costs for the average American. Your urgent support is needed since the Michigan House of Representatives must consider this bill in its Lame Duck session which ends in December 2010. You can help by contacting your state Representative and urging them to consider the Michigan Hearing Aid Tax Credit (MI S403)!

Instructions

When you click the blue graphic “Write Your State Legislature” above or below you will be directed to a screen which will allow you to directly write your state legislators.

Personalize the letter. You will first see a form letter with a box to place your personal message. Your letter will have much more power if it starts with a personal message. Do not enter your name and address in this box, ONLY your personal statement. Here are two examples:

I am a mother of a three year old child with a severe hearing loss. The hearing loss is affecting her speech already. I am unable to find any local resource to help me pay for hearing aids for my child. Your help would be very much appreciated.

I am writing on behalf of my 80-year-old grandfather who is in need of hearing aids. He is on social security and has a small pension. Unfortunately his fixed income does not allow him to afford hearing healthcare.

Enter your contact information. When you have finished typing in your personal message scroll down past the form letter to enter your contact information. Based on your zip code your state legislators will be identified. Your contact information and your state legislator’s information will then automatically be embedded in the letter.

Print or eMail. When you have entered your contact information you are then ready to PRINT or eMail the letters by hitting one of the buttons to the right. For some legislators, a printed personal letter will gain more attention than an email. If you are able to, print off the letters and address them to the correct legislators using the address shown on each printed letter; be sure to place a stamp on the letter. But if you are unable to do this hit the eMail button and they will automatically be sent.

You will receive acknowledgement in your email that the letters have been sent.

Tell Your Friends. When you have sent your letters be sure to tell at least ten other friends and relatives about the tax credit bill and refer them to www.hearingaidtaxcredit.org.

Thank you for making your voice heard on this important bill.

Regards,
The Better Hearing Institute