Gap in Hearing Health Coverage is Missed Opportunity to Support Lower Income Workers
DRAPER, UT – July 22, 2023 – Despite efforts by employers to deliver greater health equity through their benefits packages, access to hearing healthcare remains a missed opportunity to support vulnerable employees, according to new research by TruHearing, the market leader in hearing healthcare benefits.
Hearing plays a fundamental role in nearly every profession, in addition to everyday interactions outside the workplace. Allowing hearing loss to go untreated can not only impact productivity but can also lead to declining mental health. The decision to seek treatment for something so serious should be as obvious as addressing vision loss or dental pain, but hearing healthcare coverage is often excluded from benefits plans. Nearly 40% of U.S. employees have or suspect hearing loss, but only 17% of employees indicate their employer offers hearing benefits.
Without coverage, the average cost of a pair of hearing aids is over $4,600, and an initial hearing evaluation can be an additional out-of-pocket expense. These treatment costs can often push care beyond the reach of most U.S. workers. According to a 2022 survey by the Federal Reserve, 37% of Americans would be unable to fully cover a $400 emergency expense. With hearing healthcare so often excluded in benefits packages, it is clear why only 10% of employees with hearing loss have pursued treatment. In fact, 82% of employees who suspect they have hearing loss report they have not even had a hearing test in the last year.
“Hearing is so vital to our productivity and mental wellbeing both in and out of the office. It is shocking that more employers aren’t aware of the value of offering hearing benefits to their employees,” said Trent Sterling, CEO, TruHearing. “Everyone deserves the opportunity to achieve their best health, and employers hold the key to making those opportunities affordable. Hearing benefits are a meaningful way to close this gap in health equity and make healthcare more accessible for employees.”
Hearing health coverage is clearly desired by employees, especially among those with lower household incomes. Among employees who feel it is at least somewhat important for employers to offer hearing benefits, more than half (52%) report a household income under $75K. Additionally, 57% of employees with untreated hearing loss report they would be motivated to address their hearing loss if their employer offered hearing benefits.
Not only are hearing benefits in demand by employees, but they are also affordable for employers to implement at a fraction of the cost of vision or dental benefits. High-quality, entry level hearing healthcare programs through TruHearing are less than $.05 PMPM which is a fraction of the price of typical vision and dental plans.
“When employees are healthy and thriving, companies thrive, too,” added Sterling. “Health benefits enable employees to affordably prioritize their dental, vision and other health needs, and hearing healthcare should be no different.”
For more information, visit: www.truhearing.com/benefit-administrators.
 TruHearing’s 2023 survey included 536 U.S. full- and part-time employees ages 25-64, and 161 people within TruHearing’s consumer database. Answers were segmented by those who do not have hearing loss; those who suspect hearing loss but have not sought treatment; those with confirmed hearing loss but do not wear hearing aids; and those who currently wear hearing aids.
TruHearing is the #1 market share leader in hearing healthcare benefits serving more than 160 million people and over 300 partners nationwide. With more than 20 years of experience, TruHearing has the expertise to create industry-leading hearing healthcare solutions customized to match the unique needs of any organization or market segment. Guided by a goal to reconnect people to the richness of life, TruHearing has developed the largest, high-quality provider network offering the most technologically advanced hearing aid selection. TruHearing delivers superlative value to ensure payers and their members receive a flawless experience every step of the way. Headquartered in Draper, Utah, TruHearing has been recognized as a “Top Workplace” in the state for six consecutive years.