23 Nov 2010

ACC and Health Ministry to share costs of hearing aids

3:35 pm on 23 November 2010

The cost of hearing aids for people with injury and non-injury related will be shared between the Accident Compensation Corporation and the Ministry of Health.

ACC Minister Nick Smith says the change is needed because it is not fair that employers are being required to pay for the rising costs of age-related hearing loss through their levies.

Dr Smith says age is not an accident.

The cost of ACC hearing loss claims has risen from $20 million a year in 2000 to $60 million this year.

It is projected to increase to $80 million per year by 2014 when it will contribute to a $1.3 billion liability in ACC's Work Account.

Dr Smith says the funding changes take effect in January.