- Direct reimbursement program
- Members can access the service once every three (3) years.
- Members can obtain at least a 25% discount by utilizing a preferred provider.
- Members submit a validated Hearing Aid certificate, along with original paid receipts to the Welfare Fund for reimbursement. As of March 1, 2022, that reimbursement amount will be a maximum of $1,500.00.
- The UFT Welfare Fund will also process your retiree Supplemental Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) benefit if you are eligible for that benefit as well.
Who is covered?
All eligible members and dependents, as defined in the General Information section, are covered for a hearing aid benefit.
What is the benefit?
The hearing aid benefit provides one (1) hearing aid every three (3) years (counted from the date of your last service). The benefit includes a comprehensive audiological evaluation, ear impression and required visits necessary for the proper fitting/use of the hearing aid.
Note: If a hearing aid is not dispensed, and you want to remain eligible for the entire benefit, you should pay for or submit the bill to your health insurance carrier or Medicare for the expense of the evaluation. This will ensure your entitlement to a full hearing aid benefit should you require it in the future.
How are benefits obtained?
You must obtain a Hearing Aid Certificate/Direct Reimbursement Form by requesting it from the Fund Office or by calling the Forms Hotline at 212-539-0539. This request must indicate whom the service(s) are for, so that the Fund may verify eligibility prior to issuing the certificate(s).
Please note: Certificates are not transferable. Photocopied certificates will not be accepted. Certificates cannot be faxed.
What is the reimbursement?
Under direct reimbursement you are required to pay for the full cost of the service and submit to the Fund for payment. Reimbursement will be $1,500.00 as of March 1, 2022, or the cost of the hearing aid, whichever is less.
Although this is a direct reimbursement benefit, the Welfare Fund has created a list of Preferred Providers who have agreed to offer a free examination and give a minimum 25% discount off the cost of a hearing aid.
The Preferred Provider list for the hearing aid benefit is also available by calling the Fund hotline at 212-539-0539.
How do I get reimbursed?
- Attach an original, paid, itemized receipt to the Hearing Aid Certificate/Direct Reimbursement Form. Altered or photocopied receipts will not be accepted.
- Complete Parts 1 and 2.
- Sign and date Part 3.
- Mail to the UFT Welfare Fund office. Claims must be submitted for payment no later than 90 days from the date of service.
- The Welfare Fund also administers the hearing aid benefit for SHIP (Supplemental Health Insurance Plan). Claims for retirees who are members of SHIP and are eligible to receive an additional benefit from SHIP, will have their SHIP claim processed when the Fund processes its claim.
What is not covered under the Hearing Aid Program?
- Charges associated with the return of a hearing aid.
- Charges associated with repairs.
- Charges for amplification devices, also known as Assistive Listening Devices (ALD).
What is not covered under the Direct Reimbursement Program?
The benefits are the same under the Direct Reimbursement Program. However, when you do not use a participating provider, the cost of the services is not required to be discounted.
Does Special Coordination of Benefits (SCOB) apply to the Hearing Aid Benefit Plan?
Yes. Members and their spouse/domestic partner who are also members are entitled to SCOB. This entitles each eligible family member to two (2) hearing aids, one hearing aid under each member's benefit record. The two (2) certificates can be combined when purchasing a single hearing aid. Reimbursement to the member may not exceed the actual charge for the hearing aid under SCOB.
How is this benefit affected by my Basic Health coverage?
A patient's basic health coverage will always be Primary and the United Federation of Teachers Welfare Fund hearing aid benefit Secondary.
Please note, assignment of payment to a provider is not permitted.
Need a Hearing Aid Benefits Certificate?
Call the Forms Hotline at: 212-539-0539
Frequently Asked Questions
A list of the most commonly asked questions.
Yes, all members and their dependents can get one hearing aid benefit every three years. This is a direct reimbursement program whereby you pay the bill and the Fund will reimburse you. You can use the Fund’s panel or choose any provider.
As of March 1, 2022, the UFT Welfare Fund will reimburse a maximum of $1,500, which can be used once every three years. If you use a preferred provider, you can receive at least a 25 percent discount on your purchase. If you are a retiree who belongs to SHIP, the Fund will now also process your claim for the SHIP scheduled payment.
Yes, you can ask for a validated certificate under your own name and another one as a dependent of your spouse.
Yes, but there are benefits to using a panel provider. Besides the discounts offered, the Fund requires our panelists to have a licensed audiologist at their facility to ensure quality service.
We suggest that you use the certificate only for a full service, including the hearing aid. If you use the certificate and only get the evaluation, we will pay the evaluation fee, but you will be deemed to have used the entire $1,500 benefit and you will not be eligible for another certificate for three years. Instead, if you pay for the evaluation (and possibly submit the claim to your health plan), you will save the $1,500 benefit and can use it when you are ready to purchase your hearing aid.