WASHINGTON — AARP Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of AARP, Washington, and HearUSA, West Palm Beach, Fla, one of the nation’s largest hearing care providers, have forged a new relationship to supply unique hearing care solutions to meet the needs of AARP’s 39-plus million members.

More than 31 million Americans are hearing impaired—including 10 million baby boomers—yet research shows only 20% of those affected seek treatment,  according to the Better Hearing Institute. A recent AARP member survey found some 6 million AARP members reported hearing loss.

“Hearing loss is a growing, cross-generational health issue affecting people of all ages,” said John Wider, executive vice president, AARP Services Inc.  “This innovative relationship with HearUSA will give AARP members access to a specialized hearing wellness program that focuses on education and quality of care.”

"This relationship offers a unique opportunity to dramatically expand awareness of hearing loss in America and will offer easy and affordable access to professional solutions,” said Stephen Hansbrough, CEO and chairman of HearUSA Inc.

Through the HearUSA relationship, AARP members will have a choice of specialized hearing care solutions with flexible product features and access to thousands of hearing care professionals, such as audiologists and hearing-instrument specialists. 

The new hearing program will include features for AARP members, such as state-of-the-art technologies, an extended warranty, battery supplies, aural rehabilitation, ongoing consultation with the patient and family, and a cost savings. The program and products are scheduled to become available beginning in the fourth quarter of 2008.

AARP Services selected HearUSA for its commitment to improving the quality and the process by which hearing care is delivered.  AARP members who participate in the program will receive hearing care services from HearUSA’s network of hearing care professionals and best-in-class hearing aid technology, education, and follow-up care.

“HearUSA’s vision to make hearing care a medical necessity reflects a cultural fit with AARP’s commitment to ensuring the health and well-being for our members,” said David Mathis, AARP Service’s new senior VP of health products and services.

“Hearing aids today are much smaller and more comfortable than ever before,” said Cindy Beyer, MD, audiologist and senior vice president of HearUSA.  “These new products can be very effective in helping people enjoy improved communications with family and friends, while meeting the high demands of a busy, active lifestyle. Thanks to advanced technology, consumers with most levels of hearing loss can maximize their hearing potential.”

AARP will soon provide members with more information about the program and benefits.

[Source: HearUSA]