Provider Factsheet - Maintenance Services

Through the Australian Government Hearing Services Program (the program), clients can receive a range of services including the provision of hearing devices where needed. When a client receives a program fitting, the device supplier will provide consumables to support the initial use of the device and the device will be under warranty covering design, materials and workmanship defects for at least 12 months.

Hearing devices are also covered by general consumer laws for repairs, replacements and refunds. Consumer laws and guarantees also apply. Further information is available on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission website

Maintenance Agreement

All program clients who receive a device through the program must be offered a Maintenance Agreement. A Maintenance Agreement is a written agreement made between a program client and the client’s provider to enable the client to receive ongoing maintenance, repairs and consumables, including batteries.

The program encourages all fitted clients to enter into a Maintenance Agreement. Clients can opt-out of having a Maintenance Agreement however, they will be responsible for all repairs and consumables not covered by warranty or the initial supply of consumables.

The program has a Maintenance Agreement template available that providers can use or that can be adapted as long as the information is retained.

Client Signature

If a client is not on a current Maintenance Agreement the client can sign the agreement any time between the fitting date and follow-up date of the service. This is a decision for each business. The commencement date will always be the Date of Fitting of the device.

If a client is already on a Maintenance Agreement, the next Maintenance Agreement can be signed up to 45 days prior to its commencement date. This allows providers to send out the Maintenance Agreement to clients for signature well in advance of the expiry of the existing Maintenance Agreement.

For relocated maintenance the client’s existing agreement continues and you will not have to get the client to sign a new agreement until the existing Maintenance Agreement expires.

Client Co-payments

When clients enter a Maintenance Agreement, the client can be charged a Maintenance Co-payment which is a contribution towards the consumables needed for their hearing device. Clients should be informed if the maintenance co-payment will be indexed annually. We note that some providers waive the client maintenance co-payment, this is a business decision for each provider.

Fully Subsidised Devices: the maximum co-payment amount that can be charged annually is set out in the Schedule of Service Items and Fees. This is indexed annually and is the same amount whether the client is monaurally or binaurally fitted.

Partially Subsidised Devices: the amount for the annual maintenance co-payment for partially subsidised devices can be higher than the maximum co-payment set for Fully Subsidised Devices. However the client must be made aware of the higher cost prior to the fitting, on the device quote, and it must be clearly documented on the client’s Maintenance Agreement. If the co-payment amount will increase over time this should be included on the original Device Quote so the client understands the potential ongoing costs.

Relocating Clients: When a client has relocated to a new provider and they are already on a Maintenance Agreement, the client cannot be charged the co-payment again until their next Maintenance Agreement is due. The program claim for relocated maintenance will include the client co-payment so that the client and new provider are not disadvantaged.

Private/BYO Devices: If a client has an existing device that was not supplied through the program, they can still elect to receive ongoing maintenance and support. However the device must be on a current Device Schedule, and must be the client’s primary devices. The devices must be suitable for the client’s needs, in working order and maintainable for the remainder of the client’s current voucher period.

If the client is already on a Maintenance Agreement this agreement will continue until its expiry. The client co-payment cannot be charged until the next Maintenance Agreement.

If the client is not already on a Maintenance Agreement, when the client signs the Maintenance Agreement for the Private/BYO devices the client co-payment can be charged.

DVA Clients: If a client is a DVA Gold Card or DVA White Card Holder (specified for hearing loss) and has entered a Maintenance Agreement, DVA will pay the client co-payment amount up to the maximum co-payment amount set for fully subsidised devices. Please note DVA does not pay the annual maintenance fee for hearing devices provided to the holder of a DVA Pensioner Concession Card or a spouse or dependent of any card type.

Program Claims

Program Maintenance Claims

Except in the twelve months after an initial fitting or refitting, if the client commences a Maintenance Agreement, the program will pay the provider a maintenance amount upfront to cover any potential repairs and consumables for one year. This is in addition to the client maintenance co-payment further discussed above.

The service and evidence requirements, conditions for claiming and fees paid for maintenance claims are outlined in the Schedule of Service Items and Fees. The amount paid will depend on whether the client is monaurally or binaurally fitted.

Maintenance Service Items include:

Monaural Maintenance

Standard Maintenance (item 700)

Relocated Maintenance (item 711)

Private Maintenance (item 790)
 

Binaural Maintenance

Standard Maintenance (item 710)

Relocated Maintenance (item 722)

Private Maintenance (item 791)

Arrangements for Different Fitting Types

When a client enters a Maintenance Agreement, when a provider can claim from the program and charge a client co-payment will depend on a range of factors including the fitting arrangement, previous fitting dates, and whether the client is on a current agreement.

An overview of the requirements for clients receiving an initial fitting, refitting, relocated and private maintenance is outlined in Table A below.

Returned Devices

If a client returns their device and they are no longer aided under the program, providers will be required to reimburse the program and the client for maintenance payments made on or after the fitting date or last Maintenance Agreement date, whichever is most recent.                                                                            

                                                                                                               

Table A: Maintenance Agreements, Client Co-payments and Program Claim Overview

The following table outlines the majority of scenarios related to device maintenance where the client receives a fitting and wishes to enter a Maintenance Agreement or is already on a Maintenance Agreement. If your client has a unique situation, please contact the program for further guidance. Refer to the Schedule of Service Items and Fees for further information regarding program requirements, claiming, co-payments and evidence requirements.

 

Maintenance Agreement Details

Client Co-payment

Program Claim

If not entering a Maintenance Agreement

Initial Fitting

Signing Date: Anytime on or between the fitting and follow-up service dates.

Commencement Date: Date of Fitting

Term: 12 months from Date of Fitting

Once fitted and on signing the agreement the client can be charged the co-payment as per the Schedule of Fees.  

Fitting: 630, 631, 635, 636, 640, 641, (inclusive of consumable component)

Maintenance: Not Claimable for 12 months from the date of fitting.

Fitting: 650, 651, 655, 656, 660, 661

 

Subsequent Initial Fitting

Existing Maintenance Agreement terms apply.

 

Not Payable

Fitting: 760, 761 (inclusive of consumable component)

Maintenance: Not Claimable for 12 months from the commencement date of the existing Maintenance Agreement.

Fitting: 770, 771

 

Refitting

Signing Date: Anytime on or between the fitting and follow-up service dates.

Commencement Date: Date of Fitting

Term: 12 months from Date of Fitting

Client co-payment is payable to cover new devices supplied. Amount as per the Fees Schedule.

Fitting: 820, 821, 825, 826, 830, 831

Maintenance: Not Claimable for 12 months from the Date of Fitting.

Fitting: 820, 821, 825, 826, 830, 831

 

Relocated Maintenance

Existing Maintenance Agreement terms apply.

 

Not Payable – the co-payment is covered by the program claim

Monaural Relocated Maintenance: 711

Binaural Relocated Maintenance: 722

Note: if the client relocates and is not on a current agreement but commences one providers claim item 700 or 710.

N/A
Private/BYO Maintenance

Commencement Date: Date of signature on the Maintenance Agreement

Term: 12 months from the Commencement Date.

On signing the agreement the client can be charged the co-payment as per the Schedule of Fees.

Monaural Private Maintenance: 790

Binaural Private Maintenance: 791

Note: if previously fitted through the program standard maintenance should be claimed (items 700, 710).

Note: if on an existing Maintenance Agreement, that agreement continues.

N/A

 

 

Maintenance Services (PDF 199 KB)