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Hearing aids and exams

New York Teacher
Hearing aids and exams

The UFT Welfare Fund provides a hearing aid benefit that reimburses UFT-represented employees and their dependents up to a maximum of $1,500 once every three years (counted from the date of their last service).

The Welfare Fund also administers an additional hearing aid benefit for retired members who have opted into the union’s Supplemental Health Insurance Plan. Retirees who are enrolled in SHIP and are eligible to receive this additional benefit will also have their SHIP claim processed by the Welfare Fund.

The first step in the process is requesting a hearing aid certificate. Members can expedite the process by using the online hearing aid certificate request form or by emailing A certificate is also available by calling the Welfare Fund forms hotline at 212-539-0539. The certificate is good for 90 days and can be reissued by the Welfare Fund if it expires before use.

The Welfare Fund offers the following options for UFT members and their dependents to use their benefit:

Option 1 (In-network)

You can access the hearing aid service from any participating UFT Welfare Fund hearing aid provider (a list is sent with the certificate and is also online). The Welfare Fund’s participating providers have agreed to offer at least a 25% discount on the hearing aid and a complete audiological service at no additional charge. This service includes a comprehensive audiological evaluation, an ear impression and visits for the proper fitting and use of the hearing aid.

Option 2 (EPIC)

You can choose to purchase a hearing aid from the Ear Professionals International Corporation, a national network offered by New York State United Teachers, the UFT’s state affiliate. NYSUT’s national network has more than 7,200 credentialed audiologists and ear, nose and throat physicians, including more than 250 in New York State. This network negotiated reduced prices for all treatment protocols, including hearing devices. EPIC prices may be as much as 50% below manufacturers’ suggested retail prices. For more information, contact EPIC at 866-956-5400; your member benefits identifier code is NYSUTMBC.

Option 3 (Out-of-network)

If you do not wish to take advantage of the in-network discounts offered by the Welfare Fund or EPIC panelists, you may purchase a hearing aid from a licensed hearing aid provider of your choosing. Even out of network, you will receive the applicable reimbursement benefits from the Welfare Fund (and if you are eligible, from SHIP).

Important tip

The benefit is provided once every three years, so members should use the hearing aid form only if they are actually purchasing hearing aids. If the form is used for an examination only (without a corresponding hearing aid purchase), then the service is considered completed and a new certificate cannot be issued for three years.

Special Coordination of Benefits

Members who are married to, or a domestic partner of, another UFT member are eligible for Special Coordination of Benefits, which entitles the member to use two Welfare Fund hearing aid benefits simultaneously — one under their own record and one under their spouse/partner’s record.

Related Topics: Health Benefits