WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government is expanding health coverage for adult use of cochlear implants at a cost of $352,000 annually.
The coverage of the electronic devices that partially restore hearing will be identical to the pediatric program, which covers 80 percent of the cost of an external sound processor replacement every five years with a 20 percent co-pay.
“Everyone on our team is overjoyed for Manitoba’s cochlear implant community,” said Dr. Jodi Jones, provincial otolaryngology lead, Shared Health.
“This new funding for expanded coverage represents one of the most generous programs for cochlear implant recipients in Canada and will have a tremendously positive impact for our patients and their families. Now all our recipients will be supported in their hearing and communication needs for their entire life.”
The province already covers the initial surgery, but the external processors require periodic replacement, which can be expensive without additional coverage.
The expanded program is anticipated to benefit about 40 people each year, many of whom are over the age of 55.
Watch Thursday’s news conference: