Revisiting Hearing Aids and Insuranceomar@omarkoza.com
Being in business for over 45 years, we have seen many changes in hearing healthcare and a few things that have stayed the same. Ask many who have been in the hearing healthcare industry for more than a few years and they will likely agree: insurance and hearing aids is confusing at best.
Hearing aids are not covered by many insurance plans, including Medicare. It has been a fact for many years, and not much has changed. What has changed however is the many “discount programs” or questionable benefits insurance companies claim to provide for their members. This may mean you need to visit a specific location for your hearing healthcare with the promise of a substantial discount, or a dollar amount off hearing aids, etc… What we have seen in our office time and again – most insurance plans do not provide a true benefit for hearing aids. Whether you go to an independent location that is “out of network” or another that your insurance company sends you to, chances are if you compare apples to apples you will find no real monetary benefit.
Be educated… Insurance company promoted programs or the internet hearing aid retailers they may refer beneficiaries to may craft their marketing to make it seem like they are providing a real benefit. It is true that there are options for obtaining hearing aids other than through traditional offices such as ours. Can some users be satisfied with devices that are not fit in the traditional manner? Sure, but when an insurance company or a company owned by an insurance company leads you to believe that you can receive the same exact thing at a fraction of the price, it causes confusion and decreased quality of care.
What hasn’t changed? Hearing healthcare requires more than just a device put on your ear(s) in order to achieve better hearing and therefore communication. Any quality hearing healthcare professional is not a peddler of goods (hearing aids.) The truth is that we are here and provide our services because they are necessary to help many hearing aid users achieve better communication – not just a device that amplifies sound.
We always draw the same conclusion from these discussions – you get what you pay for and make sure to do your research and ask for recommendations, not necessarily a recommendation by an insurance company hawking a questionable “benefit” for hearing aids.