Insurance or 3rd Party Discount Service?
Maybe you are one of the lucky ones out there that has an insurance plan in which hearing aids are covered (or partially). So now that you are aware that you have a hearing benefit, have you tried to check with your insurance company to see what the benefit is? So you call for your coverage only to feel like they didn’t understand what you were asking for and are now speaking to someone who is detailing out a discount service? This seems to be the trend in the hearing aid industry. More and more insurance companies are using a 3rd party system to lessen the cost of hearing aids. So what exactly does this mean? Basically, the insurance companies are out sourcing their coverage to discount companies. So, instead of the insurance company paying $500 or $1000, for example, to the provider towards your hearing aids, they work with a 3rd party company that provides a discount on hearing aids. So instead of the provider getting $1000 check from Aetna (for example) to cover a portion of the hearing aids, the discount company gives you $1000 discount off the price of the hearing aids. So you are still receiving the same amount of coverage but in a different way.
These 3rd party discount companies only work with selected providers throughout the country. So you do not get to select who you see for your hearing healthcare, but rather they choose for you based upon which providers are their partners. The other thing to be careful of when using these 3rd party discount services is that they stipulate their own warranties, their own number of appointments, and their own guidelines for which technology level they will put money towards. For example, you may get $1000 off the price of a pair of hearing aids but you only get 1 year of service, 3 months of batteries, and can not purchase the top of the line hearing instruments. This may seem like it isn’t a big deal at first, but depending on your hearing loss and your lifestyle you may NEED the top of the line technology. In addition, you may get 1 year of service but every appointment after that 1 year you will be paying for out of pocket. These are just a few things that you should consider when looking into insurance benefits for hearing aid coverage.
If you still have questions about Insurance coverage or a 3rd party service, please feel free to reach out to Megan Newcomer for your answers!