World Hearing Day 2021

Last update on Feb, 24, 2021

What’s untreated hearing loss costing your organization? In laying out the premise for World Hearing Day — Wednesday, March 3 — the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that unaddressed hearing loss comes with a global price tag of $750 billion U.S. dollars. This dilemma involves people of all ages, from infants to the elderly.

Other findings cited in a WHO fact sheet on deafness and hearing loss include:

  • Only 17% of individuals with hearing loss who could benefit from hearing aids actually wear them — an 83% gap between need and treatment.
  • Approximately one-third of people over age 65 are affected by disabling hearing loss.

Although World Hearing Day is globally focused, the WHO’s findings are consistent with the situation in the U.S. Here, an estimated 14.6 million individuals live with untreated, disabling hearing loss, which translates to an annual cost of $133 billion, or $9,100 per person, states an article in The Hearing Review by Kim Ruberg, Secretary General of Hear-it AISBL.

Viewed from another perspective, individuals with untreated hearing loss incurred, on average, 46% higher total health care costs — or $22,434 per patient— versus their normal-hearing peers over the course of a decade, with health plans covering $20,403 of this amount, according to a John Hopkins study. Documented comorbidities of hearing loss include depression, dementia, social isolation and injury-causing falls.

Supporting the goal of ‘Hearing care for all'

The theme for World Hearing Day 2021 is “Hearing care for all.” By offering a hearing benefit, Medicare Advantage plans, as well as health plans in general, can play a pivotal role in achieving this objective. A hearing benefit makes hearing aids and related services more affordable, extending hearing health care to millions of Americans
If your organization is considering the addition or replacement of a hearing benefit, Amplifon Hearing Health Care recently published a white paper entitled “The Mighty Hearing Benefit” to help guide your decision. You can download the white paper here.

We also encourage you to share the facts about hearing loss and hearing health care, along with information about the availability of a hearing benefit, with your members. The Amplifon website contains a wealth of educational articles for consumers; click here to peruse a broad range of topics, ranging from hearing loss prevention and detection, to guidance with making the most of a hearing benefit.

A senior woman trying her new hearing aid
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Contact Amplifon if you’d like to know more about how we can help you tailor a hearing benefit to the needs of your members and the goals of your organization.

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