Let’s face it: Hearing aids are expensive. While hearing aids can be life-changing for people with hearing loss, their high cost makes them inaccessible for a significant number of people who would otherwise benefit from these devices.
Although the vast majority of us pay into some form of health insurance plan each month, few, if any offer complete or partial coverage for hearing aids and other hearing loss-related treatments, leaving patients to foot the entirety of a sizeable bill. Thankfully, a new and progressive hearing healthcare plan from UnitedHealthcare is looking to shake up and revolutionize how we pay for our hearing aids.
Hearing Health Care Insurance
Health insurance giant, UnitedHealthcare, made headlines recently with the launch of their revolutionary UnitedHealthcare Hearing plan, which aims to provide affordable hearing healthcare to a wide range of potential patients. This new program will make hearing healthcare more accessible to people on individual, employer-sponsored, and Medicare Advantage plans.
The top benefit of this plan is coverage of up to 80 percent of the cost of a custom-programmed hearing aid when compared to the prices available through traditional retailers. Plus, individuals with UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare Advantage plan will be able to choose from a selection of custom-programmed hearing aids from all of the major manufacturers with no or low out-of-pocket costs.
The Need For Hearing Healthcare
In addition to offering low-cost access to hearing aids, UnitedHealthcare also plans to offer an expanded hearing healthcare portfolio with benefits that include a variety of hearing aid options, as well as a large-scale network of hearing healthcare practices. Ultimately, these new plans stand to make hearing healthcare more accessible to the people who need it most.
While some 36 million Americans have hearing loss, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) estimates that only twenty percent of these individuals ever seek out professional help. Since untreated hearing loss can cause a whole host of problems, such as an increased risk for cognitive and memory disorders, an increased likelihood of falls, as well as longer and more frequent hospitalizations, this statistic should be eye-opening.
Why do so many people with hearing loss fail to seek out treatment? For many, the stigma surrounding hearing aids and hearing loss is enough for them to suffer in silence. Others, however, find that hearing aids and hearing healthcare are simply inaccessible due to their high costs. Many full-time working adults simply can’t afford to pay for new hearing aids or for the numerous tests and appointments they would need to confirm their hearing loss.
Paving A New Way Forward
Since affordability is a major barrier to entry to hearing healthcare for people with hearing loss, UnitedHealthcare’s new plan is a major step in the way of progress. With the UnitedHealthcare Hearing plan, individuals can access affordable, yet high-quality hearing aids, as well as all of the different healthcare services they need to treat their hearing loss without breaking the bank.
As one of the first health insurance companies to offer a hearing-specific plan, UnitedHealthcare is paving the way for other progressive hearing healthcare plans. Hopefully, these new insurance plans will help make hearing healthcare more affordable and accessible to the people who need it most. That’s something to be excited about.