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Hearing Aids More Affordable in 2017 for 1.25 Million Medicare Advantage Members
TruHearing partners with 25 health plans to provide low-cost hearing aid benefits
Draper, Utah — As of Jan. 1, 2017 more than 1.25 million Americans have access to a hearing aid benefit through 25 Medicare Advantage health plans across the United States. The benefit is provided through TruHearing, which has partnered with both national and regional health insurance companies to save their Medicare Advantage members thousands of dollars off the cost of hearing aids.
The new plan benefit, known as TruHearing Select, offers high-quality, smartphone-compatible hearing aids for copayments of $699 or $999 or less* per hearing aid, depending on the hearing aid selected. This represents a significant cost savings in out-of-pocket expenses for health plan members. A National Academies of Sciences report on hearing aid affordability found that the average retail price of hearing aids is approximately $2,300 each.
“The high cost of hearing aids is often a barrier that prevents people from addressing their hearing loss,” said Tommy Macdonald, TruHearing CEO. “We have worked very hard with our health plan partners to develop an affordable benefit that will allow more people to afford high-quality hearing aids and enjoy a renewed quality of life.”
The new benefit takes effect at a time when there is pressure in the hearing industry to make hearing aids more affordable. An estimated 48 million Americans experience some form of hearing loss, and only about 30% of them address the problem. Although the high cost of hearing aids has historically prevented many health insurance companies from offering hearing aid coverage, TruHearing’s approach allows health plans to offer a hearing aid benefit for as low as $0.10 per member per month while still delivering high-end hearing aids and local professional care to their members.
“It’s a win-win,” Macdonald said. “Our partners are able to offer a valuable benefit at a low cost, and their members have a more affordable way to treat their hearing loss.”
The benefit may be used for up to two hearing aids per calendar year, and it includes a routine hearing exam and three follow-up visits for fitting and adjustments. The TruHearing program also includes a 45-day trial period, a three-year extended warranty, and 48 batteries per aid.
In addition to the Select program, TruHearing offers a variety of low and no-cost solutions that can be optimized to meet any health plan need. These include hearing aid allowances, limited formulary solutions, as well as the Value Added Items & Service (VAIS) TruHearing Choice program. The Choice program, which is offered by more than 60 regional and national health plans, saves members up to 60% off the retail price of name-brand hearing aids at no cost to the health plan.
For more information about TruHearing’s benefit and VAIS programs, visit https://www.truhearing.com.
*Copayment amounts vary by plan