Hearing Evaluations: Why Your Members Need Them

Last update on Dec, 01, 2023

Hearing allows us to communicate, socialize, and remain connected with the world around us. However, despite its importance, hearing health care is often overlooked.

Hearing Loss: A Growing Epidemic

Hearing loss is now the 3rd most common chronic condition found in older adults in the United States.

It's also estimated that around 40 million Americans have some form of hearing loss in one or both ears. Surprisingly, only a third of the population wears hearing aids, and recent findings report that it takes an average of 4-5 years to schedule a hearing evaluation after first experiencing hearing issues.

How Does This Impact Your Insurance Plan?

Hearing loss can significantly impact claim costs. And with most plans limiting member options on services, providers, and manufacturers, member experience and health care utilization are steadily declining.

Know the Facts:

  • Increase in High-Cost Conditions: Hearing loss can lead to many associated health conditions, including dementia, Alzheimer's disease, and depression. As a result, older adults with untreated hearing loss experience 46% higher health costs.1
  • Rise in Accident Claims: When left untreated, hearing loss can lead to more claims relating to accidents and injuries. In fact, members with even mild hearing loss (≥25 dB HL) are  more likely to have falls.
  • Low Health Plan Utilization: Today, many insurance plans that do include hearing aid coverage rely on old copay models that are designed to benefit manufacturers vs. your members. These plans typically experience low utilization, resulting in higher cost medical claims because of untreated hearing loss and poor member experience.

What Members Want

As people age, hearing loss becomes more common. By offering hearing health care benefits, organizations can help members maintain an independent lifestyle by providing medical coverage for hearing loss management and treatment, such as hearing aids.

Just as importantly, members should also have access to regular hearing evaluations to help prevent or mitigate hearing loss—long term.

Hearing Evaluations: 5 Ways They Benefit Plans & Members

Regular hearing evaluations are essential for everyone, whether retired or still working. Here are 5 reasons why organizations should include them as part of their benefits programs:

1. Early detection

Hearing loss often develops gradually over time, and members may not even realize they're experiencing it. Some might even believe that there is nothing they can do to treat hearing loss.

By scheduling regular hearing evaluations, members can get direct access to professional services and screenings that help them become aware of their hearing health needs before it worsens.

2. Tailored Treatments

Regular hearing evaluations provide valuable insights into the root cause of hearing issues. They also help members establish a baseline of their hearing health to understand later if their hearing has worsened.

As a result, members can better understand their condition and work closely with a hearing care provider to make informed treatment decisions. Again, this can help prevent issues from worsening and reduce the risk of other health complications from developing.

3. Improved Communication

Untreated hearing loss can significantly impact communication, leading to misunderstandings about prescribed treatments and difficulty explaining symptoms or asking for help when hearing loss affects our ability to perform a job or live independently.

The result is often feelings of isolation, which potentially leads to other health conditions, like anxiety or depression.

4. Better Quality of Life

Research shows hearing loss can increase the risk of falls, particularly in older adults. This is because hearing plays a crucial role in balance and spatial awareness.

When someone has difficulty hearing, they may be unable to detect auditory cues that alert them to potential hazards in their environment, such as a car honking or someone calling out a warning, leading to an increased risk of falls and other accidents.

By maintaining good hearing health through regular hearing evaluations, checkups, and treatment, such as hearing aids, members can reduce their risk of falls and maintain their independence.

5. More Cost Savings

As mentioned, regular hearing evaluations are crucial in detecting hearing loss early, thus preventing further damage and reducing the need for more expensive care in the future.

For instance, early detection of hearing loss may reduce the likelihood of requiring surgery, hospitalization, or other costly interventions. Additionally, hearing aids and other assistive devices can enhance overall health and quality of life, resulting in fewer claims and lower healthcare costs.

You Members Deserve The Best

Traditional hearing health plans favor manufacturers over members, limiting member choice. The result is often decreased utilization and increased costs.

At Amplifon Hearing Health Care, we make hearing health care simple with plans designed to support your members through comprehensive hearing benefits that meet their needs and surpass their expectations.

We strive to provide education and resources to empower your members in their hearing health care journey. By doing so, we aim to help them utilize their benefits effectively, choose appropriate hearing aids for their needs, and minimize the negative effects of hearing loss.

We also help them connect to providers in their area for the evaluations and treatment they need.

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Talk to an Expert

By partnering with Amplifon, organizations can offer their members a high level of support and guidance to help them navigate the complexities of hearing health care and make informed decisions about their health now and the future.

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