UnitedHealthcare Hearing announced the introduction of a new virtual care option for people across the country and individuals enrolled in eligible UnitedHealthcare employer-sponsored and Medicare Advantage plans, helping “expand access to custom-programmed hearing aids and potentially reducing the need for in-person appointments for fittings or adjustments.”

Related article: UnitedHealthcare Launches Hearing Website, UnitedHealthcare Hearing

The capability, known as Right2You, builds on the home-delivered hearing healthcare model developed by UnitedHealthcare Hearing, adding a virtual care component that is designed to help reduce the need for in-person appointments for hearing aid adjustments and support. Right2You is designed for “greater convenience and affordability, enabling consumers and eligible UnitedHealthcare members to potentially save 50% to 80% on custom-programed hearing aids compared to traditional models” reports the company citing manufacturer suggested retail prices (MSRP).

To participate, people first take an online hearing test* to determine current hearing status. If potential hearing loss is detected, people can then obtain the results of an audiogram from an in-person appointment with a UnitedHealthcare Hearing audiologist or hearing care professional—or another credentialed hearing healthcare provider. (People can also use the results of a previous hearing test, if available.) Custom-programmed hearing aids are then shipped directly to the person’s home. Rather than follow-up adjustments and support via an in-person appointment, Right2You enables further customization remotely with a smartphone or tablet paired to the hearing aids.

For individuals and UnitedHealthcare members who prefer only in-person care and support, UnitedHealthcare Hearing offers a network of more than 5,500 credentialed audiologists and hearing health professionals.       

According to UnitedHealthcare, Right2You is an important resource for many of the more than 48 million Americans with hearing loss. Since the emergence of COVID-19 and efforts to limit in-person meetings, hearing aid sales have declined significantly, although some analysts expect a rebound in 2021 as vaccinations become more widely available. Hearing loss is linked to age and environmental factors, and prolonged and repetitive exposure to loud sounds is contributing to the growing prevalence of noise-induced hearing loss, including people in their 30s, 40s, and 50s.

Diane Nens

“The new virtual care option from UnitedHealthcare Hearing represents an important option in how hearing health care is delivered, enabling people across the country to more easily and conveniently obtain treatment for hearing loss while minimizing the need for in-person appointments,” said Diane Nens, audiologist and senior clinical director, UnitedHealthcare Hearing. “Hearing health is connected to overall well-being, so improving access to hearing health treatment and hearing aids can support our members and lower their risk of depression and dementia, as well as reduce the frequency of falls.”   

For all consumers, UnitedHealthcare Hearing offers hearing aids by phone, online, or in person at locations nationwide, with personalized support during and after purchase. Millions of UnitedHealthcare plan participants—including people with employer-sponsored and individual medical plans, as well as people enrolled in most Medicare Advantage plans – can purchase custom-programmed hearing aids with no out-of-pocket costs or a per-device copay starting as low as $175 depending on the plan.

For more information about Right2You, plus an online hearing loss test, go to: uhchearing.com

*The online hearing test is not designed to replace a professional hearing test.

Source: UnitedHealthcare Hearing

Image: UnitedHealthcare Hearing, Katie Fears