United Healthcare is now offering its hi HealthInnovations hearing aids to people enrolled in its various vision benefit plans. United hiHealthInnovations BTE1

The customized and programmable hearing aids (BTE shown) are being offered at $649 each, a price point that is generally lower than those of other leading brands with similar capabilities.

The discount program already has been available to people enrolled in many UnitedHealthcare medical plans, including employer-sponsored, individual, and Medicare Advantage plans, as well as Medicare Part D plans. According to UnitedHealth, some of its Medicare plan customers pay no out-of-pocket costs for their hearing aids.

In 2011, UnitedHealth originally launched hi HealthInnovations with these hearing aids along with a web-based self-diagnostic hearing health testing system. However, the self-diagnostic system was eventually shut down by the FDA because the system had not been approved by FDA regulators.

UnitedHealth plan participants and consumers interested in purchasing an hi HealthInnovations hearing aid are now required to receive a hearing test from a qualified provider, “including primary care physicians, audiologists, or hi HealthInnovations hearing professionals,” according to the UnitedHealthcare press release. The audiogram is then submitted to hi HealthInnovations, which programs the hearing aids for each person’s specific hearing loss. Consumers can have the device sent directly to their residence or be fitted in-person.

“Cost is a significant barrier for millions of Americans suffering from hearing loss, and this new discount will help make hearing aids more accessible and affordable for more people nationwide,” said Linda Chous, OD, chief eye care officer, UnitedHealthcare Vision. The company also says that every hearing test result and hearing aid order is reviewed by a licensed hearing professional to determine suitability.

hi HealthInnovations hearing professionals are reportedly available in many cities around the United States, offering hearing health seminars in local communities and providing education, testing, and support services in person, over the phone, or online.

For more information, visit hihealthinnovations.com.

SOURCE: UnitedHealth