Free to Hear Programme

Bay Audiology

Nobody should miss out on hearing the joys of life

Our team of hearing specialists at Bay Audiology believe that nobody should have to miss out on hearing the joys of life and are dedicated to improving lives through hearing solutions. 


This belief and devotion inspired us to create Free to Hear, a programme providing free hearing aids to those experiencing financial hardship.


Since 2015, Free to Hear has helped support people with free Starter hearing aids, allowing them to take the first step towards better hearing.


Free to Hear Programme

Come in and speak to our team of hearing specialists to find out more about the Free to Hear Programme and see if it is right for you. 

Steps involved in the Free to Hear Programme

The initial step is completing a Full Diagnostic Consultation with Bay Audiology. During this appointment your clinician will:


Complete a comprehensive hearing test

We will do a comprehensive hearing test, understanding your hearing loss and an assessment of your hearing needs.

Discuss any funding options available to you

We will talk though any funding options that may be available to you. These include: 

Ministry of Health Government Subsidy

Check you are eligible for the Ministry of Health Government Subsidy. The Free to Hear Programme accesses this funding to subsidise the cost of the Free to Hear hearing aids. This subsidy is available to most New Zealanders over 16 years of age. 

Other sources of funding for hearing aids

Assess if you are eligible for any other sources to fund hearing aids, this includes but is not limited to ACC, Veterans' Affairs, Hearing Aid Funding Scheme, WINZ loan or other charity sources.

Discuss and understand your financial resources

We will work with you to understand your financial resources to put towards hearing aids.

Ensure your hearing needs are being met

We will assess if the Starter hearing aids available in the Free to Ear Programme will meet your hearing needs.

If you are unable to financially provide for your hearing health and cannot access any other funding, your clinician will nominate you to receive Starter hearing aids from the Free to Hear Programme.

We have ensured your application is quick and easy and can be completed during your Full Diagnostic Consultation appointment. 

If you’d like to know more, speak with one of our team and they can explain the process and advise if the Free to Hear Programme is right for you.

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Terms and Conditions:

  • Applicant must have completed a Full Diagnostic Consultation and needs assessment at Bay Audiology (cost $79)
  • Applicant must be eligible for the Ministry of Health Government subsidy for hearing aids; eligibility criteria for this is:
    • NZ Citizen or permanent resident aged 16 years of age or over
    • Available once every 6 years only
    • $1022.22 for binaural hearing aids (two devices) or $511.11 for monaural $511.11 (a single device)
  • Applicant must have a hearing loss that can be helped with a hearing aid solution.
  • Applicant must be deemed as a suitable candidate for the devices provided by the Free to Hear programme by their clinician.
  • Applicant has no other resources available to fund hearing aids. Other resources include, but are not limited to: ACC, Veteran Affairs, HAFS, WINZ loan or other charity sources.
  • Applicant must be over 16 years of age (as per Ministry of Health Government subsidy). Note: Under 16 years of age are supported by the Ministry of Health for hearing aid support.
  • If the applicant is in full time education, up the age of 21 they are not eligible as hearing aids solutions are funded by the Ministry of Health.
  • Applicant must declare their personal inability to financially provide for their hearing health.
  • Applicant must hold a Community Services Card.
  • Free to Hear hearing aids are from the Starter technology range at Bay Audiology and are excluded from receiving the AfterCare Plus service offering.
  • Please refer to Starter hearing aid terms and conditions which are available from your clinician for further details.

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