If you ask a layperson about the cost of hearing aids, they will likely tell you that they believe hearing aids to be fairly expensive. For some people, hearing aids may even be cost-prohibitive, preventing them from seeking the treatment they need for their hearing loss.
As an audiologist, you likely do all you can to educate your patients on their financing, insurance, and device options to provide a solution that fits their budget. However, the fact remains that hearing aids can be expensive, and for some, they may be too expensive.
Good news! The days of hearing aids being too expensive may soon be ending. This past summer, UnitedHealthcare launched a new initiative aimed at expanding hearing aid access through hearing insurance. With this program, many people will have greater access to hearing aids – and this may be the beginning of a trend within insurance companies to provide greater access and more affordable options for hearing healthcare.
UnitedHealthcare’s new initiative is called UnitedHealthcare Hearing. The program’s goal is to provide affordable and quality hearing health to individual, employer-sponsored, and Medicare Advantage plan participants. This program will provide access to custom-programmed hearing aids at up to 80 percent less than the price of those devices sold through traditional channels.
For patients with UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare Advantage plans, they will be able to select custom-programmed hearing aids from all major manufacturers. Some of these patients will have no out-of-pocket cost, while the majority will have a per-device copay starting at $200.
As part of the UnitedHealthcare Hearing initiative, employers are able to provide an expanded portfolio of hearing health benefit plans, which include many hearing aid options and a large national network of credentialed hearing health professionals. This initiative, made possible through a partnership with EPIC Hearing Healthcare and hi HealthInnovations, will provide greater access to hearing healthcare to many people across the United States.
You, as an audiologist, can help your patients become aware of their insurance benefits and ensure they utilize whatever benefits are available to them. You can also present them with hearing aid and treatment options that are covered by their insurance to ensure that costs are reasonable.
For patients who need additional financing options, CareCredit has long been a popular solution. In more breaking news, CareCredit has integrated with the Blueprint Office Management System (OMS). If you use the Blueprint OMS in your office, it is now easier and faster than ever for your staff and for your patients to apply for financing through CareCredit.
The future of hearing healthcare is exciting. With hearing insurance now available through UnitedHealthcare, other insurance companies may soon follow suit. Patients who now have greater access to hearing healthcare and hearing aids will hopefully be more likely to seek the diagnosis and treatment they need. With cost concerns largely mitigated, this is a great time for the field of hearing health to demonstrate the value of professional care.
If you would like to learn how you can use this as an opportunity to grow your practice, we encourage you to contact us today at AudiologyPlus. We are here to help.