Today, the Government of Saskatchewan through the Ministry of Health and the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA), are implementing the expanded Cochlear Implant Program to help those who need their external sound processor replaced. Under the new program, individuals will co-pay $840 per processor with the Ministry of Health covering the remainder of the cost, which is often $8,000 to $12,000.

“Cochlear implants can make a world of difference to someone experiencing severe hearing loss,” Minister of Health Paul Merriman said. “A person’s ability to hear and communicate with their friends and family is important and we are pleased that we can help with cochlear implant sound processor replacement costs.” 

Cochlear implants are electronic devices that can partially restore hearing for individuals with severe hearing loss from inner ear damage, or who can no longer be helped by hearing aids. However, the external sound processor needs to be replaced every five to seven years.

The program expansion was announced October 13, 2022. Individuals who purchased cochlear implants between October 13 and December 1 may be eligible for reimbursement. 

The Ministry of Health estimates approximately 70 sound processors are eligible for replacement in the next several months, with an estimated 50 devices per year thereafter. The SHA will contact individuals who are eligible to have their external sound processor replaced. The Ministry of Health estimates the program will cost $446,000 in 2022-23, with an annual cost of $300,000.