LOUISVILLE, Ky.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Medicare beneficiaries in 27 more states will soon have better access to hearing examinations and more affordable hearing aids thanks to Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM). Humana, a leading health and well-being company, is expanding its existing relationship with TruHearing, a hearing health care company, to include hearing care and hearing aid benefits within more of its Medicare Advantage plan offerings.
Humana is including this hearing benefit on certain 2018 Medicare Advantage plans offered in the following new states: Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Humana and TruHearing teamed up in 2017 to introduce the benefit in select Medicare Advantage plans offered in Arizona, Arkansas, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas and Washington state. In 2018, the benefit will be offered in a total of 34 states.
Original Medicare covers diagnostic hearing exams only if a patient’s health care provider orders the test to see if medical treatment is needed. Otherwise, Original Medicare does not cover hearing exams, hearing aids, or hearing aid fittings, despite the fact that one in four Americans 70 years and over has a hearing impairment, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Traditionally, hearing aids have been unaffordable and out of reach for many Medicare beneficiaries. According to a National Academies of Sciences report on hearing aid affordability, the average retail price of two hearing aids in 2013 was approximately $4,700.
The benefit allows for one annual routine hearing exam, at no additional cost to the member, and high-quality digital hearing aids for fixed copayments. This makes the members’ out-of-pocket expenses simple and transparent. Members will be able to obtain two hearing aids per year (one per ear), with the choice of an advanced TruHearing hearing aid with a copay ranging from $399-699, or a premium TruHearing hearing aid with a copay of $699-999. These copayments are per hearing aid and vary depending on the member’s location and plan selected.
TruHearing hearing aids include three provider visits for fittings and evaluations within the first year of the hearing aid purchase, a 45-day trial period, a three-year extended warranty and 48 batteries per aid – all at no extra cost to the member. The hearing aids offer wireless connectivity to your mobile phone or tablet through Bluetooth technology and come in a variety of colors and styles.
People with Medicare may select these plans during the 2018 Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plan Annual Enrollment Period, or AEP, which runs Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, 2017. Those selecting a plan with this option will be able to start using the benefit Jan. 1, 2018.
“Hearing is an important part of our everyday lives and any impairment can lead to emotional and social consequences for older adults. This can include social isolation, depression and anxiety, according to a study by the National Council on the Aging,” said Anup K. Sharma, M.D., M.B.A., Medical Director, Clinical Integration for Humana. “The TruHearing hearing care and hearing aid benefit helps take the guesswork out of the cost of a hearing aid and will go a long way to helping our members hear better, improving their overall health and well-being so they can start with healthy.”
Medicare beneficiaries living in these states who are interested in the hearing aid benefit should visit Humana.com/Medicare to research these plans and learn more about this and other plan benefits.
TruHearing works with more than 60 managed care organizations across the country to provide their members with hearing aid benefits and discounts. Their mission is help make hearing aids more affordable by partnering with health plans to provide low-cost hearing solutions to their membership. TruHearing has a contracted network of more than 5,600 hearing professionals that deliver the latest technology in hearing aids with local, personalized service. For more information visit www.truhearing.com.
Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) is committed to helping our millions of medical and specialty members achieve their best health. Our successful history in care delivery and health plan administration is helping us create a new kind of integrated care with the power to improve health and well-being and lower costs. Our efforts are leading to a better quality of life for people with Medicare, families, individuals, military service personnel, and communities at large.
To accomplish that, we support physicians and other health care professionals as they work to deliver the right care in the right place for their patients, our members. Our range of clinical capabilities, resources and tools – such as in-home care, behavioral health, pharmacy services, data analytics and wellness solutions – combine to produce a simplified experience that makes health care easier to navigate and more effective.
More information regarding Humana is available to investors via the Investor Relations page of the company’s web site at www.humana.com, including copies of:
- Annual reports to stockholders
- Securities and Exchange Commission filings
- Most recent investor conference presentations
- Quarterly earnings news releases and conference calls
- Calendar of events
- Corporate Governance information
Humana is a Medicare Advantage HMO, PPO, and PFFS organization with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in a Humana plan depends on contract renewal. The benefit information provided is a brief summary, not a complete description of benefits. For more information, contact the plan. Limitations, copayments and restrictions may apply. Benefits, premium and member cost-share may change on January 1 of each year. You must continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium.