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Siemens Joins the Hearing Industries Association on Capitol Hill to Promote the Hearing Aid Tax Credit Act
Date:5/12/2009

Siemens meets with members of Congress in support of the 31.5 million Americans with hearing loss

PISCATAWAY, N.J., May 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Siemens Hearing Instruments, Inc. will be on Capitol Hill this week promoting the Hearing Aid Tax Credit Act (H.R. 1646), alongside members of the Hearing Industries Association (HIA). Siemens and HIA members will meet with Congressional leaders on May 13 to discuss the proposed legislation that would provide a tax credit of $500 per hearing aid to millions of Americans who need hearing instruments but can't pay for them.

Hearing aids are currently not covered under Medicare, or under the vast majority of state mandated benefits. The financial responsibility of purchasing a hearing aid currently falls on the consumer, with 71.4 percent of all purchases involving no third party payment.(1) The potential hearing aid market in the United States is estimated to be approximately 35 million people, with only nine million currently being served. Hearing aids could currently cost $1,800 - $2,000 per ear.

"The proposed tax credit would have a significant impact on the affordability of hearing instruments, therefore stimulating the hearing aid market," said Dr. Tom Powers, Vice President, Audiology and Compliance at Siemens Hearing Instruments.

"This incentive would allow people living with hearing loss to now seek help for this condition. The Tax Credit could provide an opportunity to improve the quality of life of millions of Americans," said Powers.

Siemens executives will meet with Members of Congress to discuss the impact this tax credit would have on the hearing impaired community, both personally and professionally. It is estimated that 95 percent of individuals with hearing loss could be successfully treated with hearing aids, while only 22-23 percent currently use them.(2)

"This legislation affects more than just the 31.5 million Americans with hearing loss - it touches the lives of their friends, family members, and co-workers," said Christi Pedra, CEO of Siemens Hearing Instruments. "Siemens is pleased to work with the HIA to help drive such an important issue."

The Siemens Healthcare Sector is one of the world's largest suppliers to the healthcare industry. The company is a renowned medical solutions provider with core competence and innovative strength in diagnostic and therapeutic technologies as well as in knowledge engineering, including information technology and system integration. With its laboratory diagnostics acquisitions, Siemens Healthcare is the first integrated healthcare company, bringing together imaging and lab diagnostics, therapy, and healthcare information technology solutions, supplemented by consulting and support services. Siemens Healthcare delivers solutions across the entire continuum of care - from prevention and early detection, to diagnosis, therapy and care. Additionally, Siemens Healthcare is the global market leader in innovative hearing instruments. The company employs around 49,000 people worldwide and operates in 130 countries. In the fiscal year 2008 (Sept. 30), Siemens Healthcare reported sales of euro 11.2 billion, orders of euro 11.8 billion, and Sector profit of euro 1.2 billion. Further information can be found by visiting http://www.siemens.com/healthcare.

    (1)  Hearing Industries Association, 2009
    (2)  MarkeTrak Report, 2009.


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SOURCE Siemens Hearing Instruments, Inc.
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