How do they assess who should receive a cochlear implant?

Is a cochlear implant right for me?


You or your loved one will need to meet with hearing professionals to find out if a cochlear implant is the right solution.
These professionals may include an audiologist, otologist (also commonly known as an ENT doctor) and speech-language pathologist. There will be some assessments of your hearing, physical health and imaging (such as MRI and/or X-ray) to view the structures inside the ear.
Based on the results of these assessments and the degree and type of hearing loss, your hearing professionals will recommend a solution.
These services are available in every state through both public and private health systems. The MED-EL Clinic Finder can help you locate a service near to where you live.

How much does a cochlear implant cost in Australia?

Many people are surprised to learn that cochlear implants are available at no or minimum cost within Australia. In fact, a cochlear implant is generally less expensive than a hearing aid.

What funding options are available

In Australia, financial support to cover the cost of a cochlear implant and related services is made available in several ways:

  • Public Hospital – every state and territory provides cochlear implant services for adults and children through the public health system at no cost . There may be a waiting list, which is why it is important to speak to a hearing professional for more information as soon as possible.
  • Private health insurance may fully reimburse hearing implants. Contact your health fund directly to ask about your coverage level for cochlear implant devices as well as associated surgical and hospital costs. We recommend asking specifically about restrictions, waiting periods, audio processor upgrades and replacements as well as out-of-pocket costs.
  • The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) may cover costs related to cochlear implants for eligible clients. Contact DVA for more details. 
  • Self-funding is also an option. We recommend discussing the cost of the cochlear implant system and related surgical, post-operative and ongoing care beforehand with your local medical professionals. 

What are the ongoing costs associated with cochlear implants?


Audiology Services

  • Several appointments will be required with the initial activation of a cochlear implant, and annual reviews as recommended by your clinic. Please enquire with your hearing professional if there are any associated costs.


Audio Processor Upgrades

  • You can enjoy the technical advances in the audio processor without needing surgery for a new cochlear implant. Audio Processor upgrades may be funded by private health funds, National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and Hearing Australia.

Maintenance, Accessories and Ongoing Care

  • These items may be provided through agencies such as Hearing Australia, National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), or can be self-funded. Your hearing professional can advise on what you are eligible to access. 


  • It is recommended that all audio processors are insured against loss or damage. Your insurance company can advise the most suitable cover for you. 

How much does a cochlear implant cost in New Zealand?

  • In New Zealand, the Ministry of Health funds cochlear implant services for people who meet certain criteria. For further information please visit the Ministry of Health
  • For assessment and hearing-related services you can visit the Southern Cochlear Implant Programme (, or the Northern Cochlear Implant Programme ( depending on where you live. 
  • Self-Funding is also an option. We recommend discussing the cost of the cochlear implant system and related surgical, post-operative and ongoing care beforehand with your local medical professionals.