Can you name a medical device that changes the lives of millions of people, but in general isn’t covered by insurance?
The answer is hearing aids. Hearing aids have become a luxury that few people can easily afford. With a price tag ranging from $1000 to $4000 each, most private insurance doesn’t cover them, however, our company can help you with this kind of problem.
There are only 22 states that require health insurance to cover hearing aids, but, most of them only cover children. There are four states that require coverage for children and adults – New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Arkansas.
Insurance companies view hearing aids as a choice, however, for people who have hearing loss the hearing aids are a lifeline. Like we said in the article “ Hearing and quality of life”( insert link http://brightridgenetwork.com/hearing-and-quality-of-life/) people with hearing loss become isolated and have trouble engaging in social activities and the quality of life drops dramatically. Hearing loss affects everything from employment to family and every relationship in a person’s life, not to mention mental and physical health.
The reasons for the lack of coverage varies according to who you ask but the real reasons that insurance companies don’t cover hearing aids are wide open to speculation. However, the reasons probably are due to the financial level of commitment.
How do insurance companies work in the traditional sense?
In addition to working safe, insurance companies work at an unusual risk and spreading it over a large group of people.
Insurance and Risk Basic
Spreading the cost of an unlikely risk over a large group of people means everyone pays a reasonable amount. One of the examples of that is the risk of a perfectly healthy person falling suddenly and seriously. This is considered an insurable risk, because is not likely to happen, and means that the odds are in the insurance company’s favour. They never have to pay up and they can make a profit with the insurance premiums, administrative fees and other costs that you add up.
On the following days, the hearing loss is a likely risk for growing numbers of Americans and to most insurance companies that are not considered insurable. More than 50% of those over the age of 75 have hearing loss and the odds are simply too great that you will make a claim to be helped.
In addition to the cost/risk problem, insurance companies also have 35 other mandated benefits they are required to cover. With hearing loss statistics as high as they are, they just aren’t willing to take on another risk, especially one that high.
The business of health insurance
Insurance companies were not originally created as a healthcare. Their bottom line concern is primarily about finance, even when they dip their toe into the healthcare waters as one insurance company has done recently with their foray into hearing aid clinics.
Steve Murphy – executive director of Sertoma ( a volunteer organizations which provides service and philanthropy for hearing health issues) – considered that: “The upside of that is the insurance companies provide coverage, but the downside is that when insurance companies start to get involved in any aspect of healthcare, they start to impact how that healthcare is delivered,” and adds “If they’re going to play, so to speak, they are going to want to have a larger voice in how services are decided. They are going to want to determine pricing and costs on hearing instruments, so it’s going to have an impact.”
Insurance program on Medicaid and Medicare
Medicaid coverage for hearing aids varies from state to state, with some states excluding coverage entirely. Most hearing aid providers do not accept Medicaid or Medicare due to the complex documentation involved and also because of the slow repayment rate.
Some of the Medicare Advantage plans include coverage for hearing aids, however, the traditional Medicare health insurance program does not include any coverage. In this way, most private insurers follow the lead of Medicare, that is, they do not fully cover the financing.
Advocacy matters on hearing aids
Nowadays hearing loss has not yet become a widely discussed topic as well as depression, and it is still not much discussed that support for hearing aids is needed, just as it is still taboo to talk about hearing loss.
Murphy said that “The challenge with hearing aids is like the challenge of people using hearing aids at all. It’s a kind of ‘we do not talk about it’ secret, ” and adds “It’s still one of those healthcare issues that does not tend to grab people’s attention. There is no awareness or concern for it, as you have seen in other healthcare issues. So until we see a larger groundswell of advocacy from the grassroots level, I’m not expecting this issue to be on the radar. “.
Murphy believes that if these kinds of health and hearing issues were spoken openly by society, it was possible to trigger changes at the insurer level, thus achieving greater financial support for hearing aids.
Finally, listening to health professionals are in the business of helping people to listen better regardless of budget. Some of them may have affordable financing options available or other ways to help. This kind of help is made by our company – Birghtridge Network’s – in order to negotiate a reduced cost of hearing aids and connect customers to some benefits.