Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Meningitis vaccination reimbursement, AB stuff

Advanced Bionics just recently redid their website (www.bionicear.com), and I happened to be lurking around on it while I'm at work (seems I do most of my research while I'm at work). Anyway, I was just randomly clicking links, looking at different stuff. And what do you know? I came across a page in the Customer Support area for meningitis vaccination reimbursement. Advanced Bionics will reimburse AB users who have gotten the pneumococcal meningitis vaccination that wasn't covered by insurance (paid for out of pocket). Now, this is good to know, for myself. I have no idea how much the vaccination would cost, but just knowing AB will reimburse it is handy. I'll have to keep this in mind as I progress along with the implant route.

I knew there was a risk of meningitis for those who get the implants, but I never knew what specific meningitis. The other day I just happened to be randomly research different meningitis types, just for my curiousity, and it occurred to me that pneumococcal meningitis would be the one that an implantee could possibly be at risk for. And now, having stumbled across AB's reimbursement information, well it all makes more sense in my head now.

Here is the information, in case anyone with the AB device is interested (I have no idea if Med-El or Cochlear does anything like this).


Also, just the other day, I got to thinking if AB had different processor options for the Harmony device. I remembered Auria having a battery pack option, where the battery pack could be clipped to your belt or something like that, and the BTE would be smaller and lighter. Harmony currently doesn't have something like this, but AB is working on alernative power options for the Harmony (similar to the battery pack). That is also good to know! I just wondered, since my right ear does tend to be sensitive to weight and such. Ever since I got the Phonak Supero hearing aid, I've had sensitivity issues with the weight of the hearing aid (especially when the FM boot/shoe is on). All of my previous hearing aids were smaller and used the size 13 batteries, while the Supero uses 675. And since I do tend to pile up enough stuff onto my right ear almost on a daily basis, it does tend to hurt after a while (Supero hearing aid + Hatis epic ear hook + glasses all on 1 ear, ouch). I just have no idea how my ear would handle the weight of the standard Harmony BTE, so it's good to know there will soon be alternative options. I guess you can say I have wussy ears.

2 comments:

suddensilence said...

It's funny, I went through a lot of the same thoughts before I got my AB Harmony CIs so I can relate. :)

When I had my CI evaluation, the audiologist showed me the two CIs that my center worked with -- AB and Cochlear -- and I tried them both on. I was surprised at how light they were -- about the same as my hearing aids.

I got one Slim cell and one Power cell for each CI. The Slims are more comfortable but the Power is also fine -- I just notice the CI more by the end of the day...not terrible pain or anything, just a bit of an ache.

Surprisingly, what also really helped me was changing to the pediatric T-Mic. The regular one is really pretty big for my ear, so at my 6 month mapping I asked to try the pediatric size. AB let me swap them out, but just for one ear. It really eliminates any aching I was getting, and fits my ear a lot better. So you might want to try that too, before you have them order your kit -- see if you can try on the pediatric T-Mic. If it fits your ear well, have them order that size instead of the standard T-Mic.

My insurance doesn't cover vaccinations so I was very happy AB did this! It was actually hard to find a place to give the vaccine -- I talked about this in my blog, in the pre-op entry in July 2008 -- so you might want to check around to find a place that will give it. I wrongly assumed I could get it at the hospital where I did my pre-op testing or my doctor's office, and neither of them had the specific vaccine I needed. Just another heads up, LOL!

I'm cheering you on from Illinois!!

~ Wendi

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