What you'll find on this page
- Why funding can vary from country to country.
- Information about the costs involved with implants.
Where to start
Your hearing health professional will give you an overview of the costs of getting a cochlear or bone conduction implant. However, not all implants cost the same or are more expensive than hearing aids.
As hearing implants require a surgical procedure, there may be funding available through the public health system, government programs, insurance or donation programs. Or you may have to meet the total cost of the implant and procedure yourself.
The costs and funding will vary depending on your individual hearing treatment, as well as the country you live in.
This is why funding for cochlear implants is not always straightforward. Your hearing health professional will guide you.
What costs are associated with a hearing implant?
The cost of getting an implant may include the following aspects of treatment for you or your child:
Hearing specialist (audiologist) appointments.
ENT specialist appointment and any X-rays or MRIs.
Surgery expenses and post-operative care.
Cost of the Cochlear device.
Post-operative appointments, sound processor activation and rehabilitation.
Find the support available to you
Depending on your age and circumstances, there are a number of different ways you may be able to receive financial support in Australia.
State government support (public hospitals)
State governments also fund a limited number of cochlear implants each year. Each state varies in the number they fund; additionally, there are usually waiting lists for this funding. Children are typically the priority, however funding is also available for adults.
Private health insurance
Private health insurers may be able to provide a full reimbursement for the cochlear implant system. Coverage of the surgical procedure and any hospital costs will depend on your level of insurance.
Australian Hearing provides a range of hearing services for children and young people up to the age of 26, eligible adults, aged pensioners and most war veterans. Funding support is provided for a range of hearing-related services, including:
Comprehensive hearing assessments
Fitting and monitoring of hearing aids
Fitting and maintenance of amplification devices
Ongoing supply of batteries
Maintenance and repairs for hearing aids and cochlear implant sound processors
Support for children wearing cochlear implants, including sound processor upgrades.
Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA)
For those eligible, the DVA provides devices included on the Prostheses List and will cover 100% of costs associated with cochlear implants.
If private health insurance or government funding does not cover you, then you can pay for a cochlear implant system and specialist and surgical costs yourself. Make sure you discuss this with your medical team so you are aware of all the costs involved.
Funding options for cochlear implants
Our free guide to government and private health insurance coverage in Australia.
I live in New Zealand, are any of my costs subsidised?
In New Zealand, the Ministry of Health funds cochlear implant services for people who:
Have severe to profound hearing loss
Cannot be helped by standard hearing aids
Have been assessed as likely to benefit from a cochlear implant
Are eligible for publicly funded health and disability services
Live permanently in New Zealand
Do not qualify for cochlear implant funding through ACC
For more information, visit the Ministry of Health.
ACC funding may be available if the hearing loss was caused by an accident.
What ongoing costs are there?
To keep your hearing solution working at its best, you should factor in maintenance costs. This includes replacement parts such as cables, coils, magnets and batteries.
It’s also worth considering purchasing waterproof or True Wireless™ accessories to help you get the most from your hearing device.
In the future, upgrades may become available for your sound processor. Reasons to upgrade include:
to enjoy improved performance and features
to replace a lost or damaged device
when a sound processor becomes obsolete.
Getting a Cochlear hearing implant is a lifelong decision. It's important to us that you get the ongoing support and service you need.
This support includes help with caring for your device, servicing