hi HealthInnovations, Minnetonka, Minn, has introduced a new hearing aid discount program for health plans intended to help plan participants purchase high-tech, custom program hearing aids. According to a recent hi HealthInnovations announcement, the program is available nationwide to all health insurers, including employer-sponsored, individual, and Medicare plans.

Most health plans currently provide limited or no coverage for hearing aids, and no coverage through traditional Medicare plans, reports hi HealthInnovations, so the company hopes this new program will make hearing aids more accessible and affordable for people with medical insurance.

How the Hearing Aid Discount Program Works

hi HealthInnovations explains that, once a health plan has enrolled in the program, their plan participants can contact hi HealthInnovations to schedule an appointment with a hearing professional, search for a hearing health provider on the hi HealthInnovations website, or ask their doctor for a hearing test. Their hearing test results (audiograms) are then submitted to hi HealthInnovations, which custom-programs the hearing aids and dispenses them in-person or by mail.

Hearing aids can help more than 90% of people with hearing loss, according to hi HealthInnovations, but they can cost up to $8,000 a pair, making them unaffordable for many people.

Lisa Tseng, MD

Lisa Tseng, MD, CEO of hi HealthInnovations

“Health plans are looking to find new ways to make hearing aids more accessible and affordable for their customers without adding to premium costs,” said Lisa Tseng, MD, CEO of hi HealthInnovations. “Hearing loss makes it difficult for people to communicate effectively and has been associated with various medical conditions, including increased risk of falls, social isolation, and even dementia. By offering this new discount program, health plans can help improve the health and well-being of the people and organizations they serve.”

hi HealthInnovations reports that it also sells hearing aids directly to consumers, and says that hearing aid discounts are already available to many people enrolled in UnitedHealthcare employer-sponsored, Medicare, and vision plans. UnitedHealthcare and hi HealthInnovations are UnitedHealth Group companies.

Dr Tseng was interviewed about the programs offered by hi HealthInnovations in a May 6, 2012 article in The Hearing Review. HR also covered the company’s provision of hearing aids in a July 24, 2013 article. Hearing Review also interviewed Dr Tseng in October 2011 when the company first announced its entrance into the hearing care field.

Source: hi HealthInnovations