When you call us to make an appointment for the first time, we’ll ask you about insurance coverage. Why?
Many insurance companies and Medicare Advantage plans now offer a benefit towards hearing aids or ‘reduced pricing’ arrangements. To use this hearing aid benefit, you may need to sign up with a company that has a different name than your insurer.
This other company is called a “third-party benefit manager” often referred to as a “network”. They handle your hearing AID benefit. To take advantage of the benefit, YOU MUST first sign up with the network. We can’t do this for you. (As an example, if you have United Healthcare, you must contact United Hearing Healthcare, at a totally different phone number.) If you can’t locate who to contact, give us a call and we’ll point you in the right direction.
(And just one additional word of advice: while you may have an insurance advisor, you STILL need to sign up with the network that provides hearing aid benefits. We know, we deal with this all day long every day of the week. We do know what needs to be done so don’t let anyone tell you differently. Also, we’ve heard rumors that some in our service area are ‘pretending’ that they’ll give you the same arrangement as your insurer: don’t be misled! It’s bait and switch and you’ll be the loser.)
We participate with many (almost all!) of these networks, but if you need hearing aids, you’ll purchase them from the network. We’ll do the ordering and fitting and provide service in accordance with the terms of your particular plan. We’ve been doing this for some time now and folks have been pleased with the outcome. Unfortunately, this sometimes takes much longer to process than if the aids were ordered by us directly. We wish we could make this process go faster but, regrettably, we can’t.
Is this a good deal? You bet! If your insurance company gives you a discount over retail price or hundreds of dollars, what’s not to like? Until you sign up with the network though, we can’t tell you what your hearing aid options are or what they will cost.
Some who call us find the ‘extra step’ of signing up with the network to be burdensome and a few have even gotten frustrated with us (even though it’s your insurance company that’s made the rules and we’re just trying to help YOU!) BUT if you’re going to get a reduced price on your hearing aid purchase or, in many cases, payment towards the cost, it seems to us to be worthwhile spending a few minutes on the phone for a few hundred dollars or more which won’t come out of your pocket.
One other thing: if you haven’t had an audiogram, that’ll be included in your benefit so there’s no need to go somewhere else first.
Again, as always, call and ask us if you’ve got questions. We know this is confusing stuff and we’re always glad to help!