Hearing aid coverage (France)

Digital, instant-fit, CIC Orison hearing aid coverage

The following information is related to the coverage of the instant-fit CIC Orison hearing aid in France and is about :

  • The social security coverage,
  • The insurance companies coverage.

For all other countries, we recommend you to contact directly the relevant health care institutions (non-exhaustive list provided below) as well as your own insurance company :

Hearing aid coverage by Social Security (general)

Apart from hearing aids eligible for the RAC0, social security covers hearing aids up to 199.71€ per ear. This coverage is conditioned by :

  • The care pathway,
  • The hearing aid itself,
  • The follow-up services sold with the hearing aid.

• The care pathway

Hearing aids covered by Social Security must be prescribed by a doctor and must therefore require a consultation with an ENT doctor beforehand, who will carry out an audiometric assessment. Since January 13th 2020, this medical prescription can also be issued by a general practitioner.

However, the law prohibits audiologists from "attracting customers (...) by substituting themselves for doctors through the illegal practice of clinical audiometry, in accordance with the decree of May 2nd 1973 (J.O. of 18-5-1973). Without this list being exhaustive, the following procedures are strictly forbidden : proposals for a hearing test (...), the hearing aid acoustician can only intervene in execution of a medical prescription and a hearing test can only be carried out by a doctor. By performing a hearing test, the hearing aid acoustician replaces the medical practitioner and may be prosecuted for the illegal practice of medicine (...)" This prohibition aims to protect the consumer from potential abuse : no one can be both judge (quantifying a hearing loss) and party (selling the hearing aid that would suit this loss), at the risk of increasing the hearing loss in order to direct the subject to a hearing solution at an excessive price.

• The hearing aid

The hearing aid covered by social security must be registered on the LPPR list (list of reimbursable products and services).

• Additional follow-up services

In order to be covered by social security, the hearing aid must be sold with a follow-up service, which must be provided by the audioprosthesist who sold the hearing aid. According to a 2015 study by UFC Que Choisir (which can be consulted here in its french version), these services - which represent 40% of the total cost of hearing aids - are not used by consumers, because they have no use for them, they do not wear their hearing aids or the hearing aid specialist closed his/her shop. In 2017, a american double-blind, placebo-controlled study (which can be consulted here in its english version) concluded that these expensive services do not lead to greater satisfaction with the handling, wearing and use of the hearing aid compared to a hearing aid sold without additional services (a pre-tuned hearing aid such as Orison). However, these services generate a consequent refusal by the people concerned to take the plunge and get a hearing aid. In France, only 1 out of 4 presbycusic people are fitted with a hearing aid. And, among those who are fitted, it is considered - a taboo figure - that 15% of them do not wear their equipment. Since March 2020 and the COVID-19 crisis, the execution of these services has become more complex, particularly with the closure of many shops and the application of barrier gestures.

Coverage of the Orison hearing aid by Social Security

For all these reasons, the Orison hearing aid is not covered by social security. In fact:

• Orison is available over the counter (without a medical prescription)

Available without a prescription, the Orison hearing aid simplifies the care pathway. And for good reason : Orison is not intended for people with hearing handicap, but for those who experience simple age-related discomfort called presbycusis. Pre-configured by ENT doctors, the Orison hearing aid is an immediate response to the millions of people who do not make an appointment to see a doctor, as the waiting time for a consultation can be as long as six months in some regions.

• Orison is not listed on the LPPR

• Orison is sold without additional follow-up services

Preconfigured, the Orison hearing aid is ready to use : no follow-up service is necessary or charged, the user is perfectly autonomous.

Coverage of the Orison hearing aid by insurance companies

Insurance companies cover health costs that are not covered by social security. They can also, according to their own policy, cover expenses for alternative care or for devices such as the digital instant-fit CIC / ITE Orison hearing aid. More than a third of our customers have had all or part of their expenses covered by their insurance company : we strongly encourage our users to provide their insurance company with the invoice for the purchase of their Orison hearing aid.

What legal recourse do I have if the insurance company refuses to cover Orison ?

If your insurance company refuses to cover Orison, read again your contract to find the justification for the refusal. If your contract is not clear, contact your advisor : in an amicable request, your advisor can release the reimbursement, even if your contract does not provide for it. Finally, if your requests are unsuccessful, you can turn to the social protection ombudsman. Contact the Technical Centre for Pension Institutions (CTIP).