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The UFT Welfare Fund provides a hearing aid benefit of $1,000. The benefit provides one hearing aid every three years (counted from the date of your last purchase). The benefit includes a comprehensive audiological evaluation, ear impression and the required visits necessary for the proper fitting/use of the hearing aid.
To utilize this benefit, the first thing you should do is order a Hearing Aid Certificate. The fastest way to do this is to go to the Welfare Fund website at www.uftwf.org and request a certificate for each family member in need of the service. You can also call the UFT Welfare Fund’s automated hotline at 1-212-539-0539.
You must pay for the full cost of the service and then submit your bill and related forms to the union’s Welfare Fund for reimbursement. You will be reimbursed up to a maximum of $1,000.
Save by using preferred providers
You have the option of using any provider you choose, but be aware of their fees. It makes sense to shop around and compare prices before you buy.
The best way to save money is to use one of the preferred providers who have agreed to give a 25 percent discount off the cost of the hearing aid to UFT members and their dependents.
The preferred provider list is available by calling the Welfare Fund hotline at 1-212-539-0539, or you can download it from the Welfare Fund website.
Another discount option
As a UFT member, you can choose instead to use benefits from our affiliate, the New York State United Teachers. NYSUT offers a national network of 3,500 audiologists and ear, nose and throat physicians, called EPIC (Ear Professionals International Corporation), which negotiates reduced prices for all treatment protocols, including hearing devices. For more information, contact EPIC at 1-866-956-5400 with member benefits identifier code “NYSUTMBC.” You can find more information about EPIC on the NYSUT website at www.nysut.org by using “hearing aid benefit” as your search term.
Using your hearing aid certificate
You cannot split the certificate by using it first for a checkup and then using it at a later date to purchase a hearing aid. The Welfare Fund recommends that you use your medical benefits for a checkup or evaluation, and use the certificate only when you are ready to purchase a hearing aid. That way, you’ll get the most value from the certificate.
Special coordination of benefits
If you are a UFT member married to, or in a domestic partnership with, another UFT member, you are entitled to a total of up to $2,000 for the hearing aid benefit, once every three years. This can be applied to a single or double hearing aid purchase. This is an enhanced benefit, which took effect on Jan. 1, 2010.
Supplemental Health Insurance Program (SHIP) and hearing aids
As a service to retired members, the UFT Welfare Fund will also process the hearing aid reimbursement for those who are enrolled in the Supplemental Health Insurance Program (SHIP).