Nucleus 7

Jetti

Member
I am so excited! My Deaf fiancé was approved for the CI processor upgrade, and should be getting the Nucleus 7, which just came out this month. So exciting! No more buying batteries in bulk anymore!

He got the CI surgery when he was 15 years old (his decision). He's now 26. His current processor is really beaten up, falling apart. He has been trying to get an upgrade for over a year now (going to appointments, his mom making phone calls, health insurance changes, and so on). But finally he's been approved, and Medicare and Medicaid will cover the entire cost.

I think the best part of this situation is that the CI is for him and only him. He was born profoundly deaf, his parents didn't want him to get the CI surgery, and they learned ASL. When he decided he wanted to get a CI, his parents worried something would go wrong. Nothing did. The surgery was a success. While he can "hear" with the CI, he cannot understand speech. So while other d/Deaf people rely on understanding hearing people when they talk, he can't. The CI is for his own experience, like listening to music.

Anyone else have a more recent CI processor? What's your experience like?
 

cdmeggers

Well-Known Member
I have a friend that will be getting her N7 in a couple of weeks. She was activated in late August with the N6, and will be trading in the N6 for the N7. She's excited about it.
 
Can i ask what state you're in? Medicaid won't cover my HA in Colorado
Try to contact Colorado DVR (Department of Vocational Rehabilitation) and see if they have any resources to help pay for your hearing aids. I was in Denver years ago and I remember them paying for hearing tests and hearing aids. Medicaid won't pay for ha here in Washington either.
 

zeefour

Active Member
All the others in this thread have been talking and CIs. There is a difference in the coverage for CIs and HAs in most cases.

In Colorado I believe CI and HA are covered the same, which is why I asked. I know all states are different, and I was wondering if maybe anyone had experience with either in CO.
 

zeefour

Active Member
Try to contact Colorado DVR (Department of Vocational Rehabilitation) and see if they have any resources to help pay for your hearing aids. I was in Denver years ago and I remember them paying for hearing tests and hearing aids. Medicaid won't pay for ha here in Washington either.
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Thank you so much, my doctor and my Access Center coordinator have both recommended DVR. I'll check them out. It seems so ridiculous HAs aren't covered! Since getting off Tricare, military insurance, I've had nothing but problems with Medicaid and my hearing loss. It makes me want to go to one of those private hearing clinics. All I've seen with Medicaid is techs, not even doctors, and that's when I've waited months to see a new audiologist. Grrrr
 
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Thank you so much, my doctor and my Access Center coordinator have both recommended DVR. I'll check them out. It seems so ridiculous HAs aren't covered! Since getting off Tricare, military insurance, I've had nothing but problems with Medicaid and my hearing loss. It makes me want to go to one of those private hearing clinics. All I've seen with Medicaid is techs, not even doctors, and that's when I've waited months to see a new audiologist. Grrrr
Yeah, Medicaid has very limited resources. I do know that Social Security will pay for a cochlear implant, but not hearing aids, so if you ever end up on SSI or SSDI you could look into that.
 

zeefour

Active Member
Yeah, Medicaid has very limited resources. I do know that Social Security will pay for a cochlear implant, but not hearing aids, so if you ever end up on SSI or SSDI you could look into that.

Thanks, I'm actually just about to switch what form of Medicaid I'm on. Colorado has a program called Working Adults with Disabilities Medicaid Buy-In. I work full time and am actually getting another part time job. Full time at my job qualified me for regular Medicaid (under $1300 before taxes) but now I make just slightly over ($1400 after taxes). The Medicaid Buy-in is for adults with disabilities that qualify you for SSDI or state disability but who are working and make between $1300 and $4500 a month before taxes, you pay between $25 and $90 a month sliding scale, and get full Medicaid coverage. It's kind of ironic hearing loss qualifies you, but that in our state almost nothing relating to hearing loss is covered by Medicaid. I have a blood clotting disorder and a spinal cord injury/TBI (happened when I was in the car accident at age 6 that made me Deaf) so the medical care I receive for those is covered by Medicaid and not my work insurance. I've been in and out of a wheelchair most of my life, but am now the healthiest I've ever been it's been about 3 years since I've had to use my chair :) It is possible I may have to go on SSDI someday, related to my SCI. I'm trying to work as much as possible now though, and am back in school for counseling. I appreciate the info, good to know! :)
 
Thanks, I'm actually just about to switch what form of Medicaid I'm on. Colorado has a program called Working Adults with Disabilities Medicaid Buy-In. I work full time and am actually getting another part time job. Full time at my job qualified me for regular Medicaid (under $1300 before taxes) but now I make just slightly over ($1400 after taxes). The Medicaid Buy-in is for adults with disabilities that qualify you for SSDI or state disability but who are working and make between $1300 and $4500 a month before taxes, you pay between $25 and $90 a month sliding scale, and get full Medicaid coverage. It's kind of ironic hearing loss qualifies you, but that in our state almost nothing relating to hearing loss is covered by Medicaid. I have a blood clotting disorder and a spinal cord injury/TBI (happened when I was in the car accident at age 6 that made me Deaf) so the medical care I receive for those is covered by Medicaid and not my work insurance. I've been in and out of a wheelchair most of my life, but am now the healthiest I've ever been it's been about 3 years since I've had to use my chair :) It is possible I may have to go on SSDI someday, related to my SCI. I'm trying to work as much as possible now though, and am back in school for counseling. I appreciate the info, good to know! :)
Good job! it is inspiring to see people who keep a positive outlook after a bad injury. You're not alone, Medicaid doesn't cover anything related to hearing loss in Washington state either.. and the new digital hearing aids are around $3,000 per pair. I suffer from TBI too, from head injuries sustained in the Navy. Yes, keep working as long as you can. Working more now will increase the amount of SSDI you get later.
 

zeefour

Active Member
Good job! it is inspiring to see people who keep a positive outlook after a bad injury. You're not alone, Medicaid doesn't cover anything related to hearing loss in Washington state either.. and the new digital hearing aids are around $3,000 per pair. I suffer from TBI too, from head injuries sustained in the Navy. Yes, keep working as long as you can. Working more now will increase the amount of SSDI you get later.

Our car was hit by a drunk driver when I was little. It fractured my temporal bone, which caused my hearing loss, gave me a TBI which made it worse and fractured my C 2-4 and T 9-10. I was lucky I was never a quad. I spent about 6 months in the hospital. I didn't struggle from too many problems outside my hearing loss and some learning difficulties from the TBI. Then my blood clotting disorder which is autoimmune disorder aggravated my T-9 injury when I was about 18. That's when I spent a few years paralyzed in my wheelchair but by a miracle (and a lot of PT) I was able to walk again, first with crutches then not. I've had a few flare ups since. I met this guy in hospital when I was there (Craig Hospital for TBI and SCIs) and he had a complete C1 injury. Couldn't even move his head side to side, had to blow into a tube to move his chair, etc. He had the best attitude though. He said he used to just party (he was in a motorcycle accident) but since his injury he reads, goes to concerts, has gone back to school and got married. Even as a paraplegic\ I was like, okay I can't do stairs but otherwise I'm good. I can't even remember what it was like to really hear (different than HA hearing ya know) but that doesn't bother me at all. I just wish more jobs were open to me working there. I know I wish I learned ASL instead of using SE and SEE in school, but I am glad I did speech. It has helped getting jobs.

I'm looking at HA prices and it's making me nauseous. Any recommendations for finding a good one out of pocket? I just can't believe drug treatment is covered (which I think it should be), Viagra is covered, but hearing aids are not!!!! It's crazy. It's not like glasses where I can go to Costco and get a pair for $50. Real hearing loss is more like being actually blind, and Medicaid covers like cataract surgery. Gah it's so frustrating!
 
Our car was hit by a drunk driver when I was little. It fractured my temporal bone, which caused my hearing loss, gave me a TBI which made it worse and fractured my C 2-4 and T 9-10. I was lucky I was never a quad. I spent about 6 months in the hospital. I didn't struggle from too many problems outside my hearing loss and some learning difficulties from the TBI. Then my blood clotting disorder which is autoimmune disorder aggravated my T-9 injury when I was about 18. That's when I spent a few years paralyzed in my wheelchair but by a miracle (and a lot of PT) I was able to walk again, first with crutches then not. I've had a few flare ups since. I met this guy in hospital when I was there (Craig Hospital for TBI and SCIs) and he had a complete C1 injury. Couldn't even move his head side to side, had to blow into a tube to move his chair, etc. He had the best attitude though. He said he used to just party (he was in a motorcycle accident) but since his injury he reads, goes to concerts, has gone back to school and got married. Even as a paraplegic\ I was like, okay I can't do stairs but otherwise I'm good. I can't even remember what it was like to really hear (different than HA hearing ya know) but that doesn't bother me at all. I just wish more jobs were open to me working there. I know I wish I learned ASL instead of using SE and SEE in school, but I am glad I did speech. It has helped getting jobs.

I'm looking at HA prices and it's making me nauseous. Any recommendations for finding a good one out of pocket? I just can't believe drug treatment is covered (which I think it should be), Viagra is covered, but hearing aids are not!!!! It's crazy. It's not like glasses where I can go to Costco and get a pair for $50. Real hearing loss is more like being actually blind, and Medicaid covers like cataract surgery. Gah it's so frustrating!
Well, you seem to be in pretty good position despite all that you have been through. That is inspiring :)

Yeah, everyone has their own set of rules.. it is indeed frustrating! Wait.. Viagra is covered?! Clearly someone, somewhere, doesn't realize how debilitating hearing loss is. It's a social issue as much as it is a physical issue because it tends to isolate the sufferer.

I think your best bet is to contact Colorado DVR, they specialize in getting disabled people back on their feet and will even pay for things like hearing aids and college. It's been a while since I was there, but I remember that the Denver branch of DVR was so helpful and I don't think I would have made it without them. I only have experience with one hearing aid company - Phonak - so there may be better choices out there that I don't know about. DVR should be a huge help. If they can't actually help you, they should at least be able to point you in the right direction.. rehabilitation is their primary focus.

I feel bad that I'm not more of a help than that.
 
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