Hearing Aid Insurance Provides You with Protection
Hearing aid insurance can be a huge benefit for those wearers who worry about the problem. Paying for a hearing aid can be quite expensive and you'll want to protect the investment that offers you the joy of sound. However, many manufacturers do not cover loss and damage long term.
Some states now have mandates that health insurance plans at least offer group coverage for hearing aids, at least for children. These states include Colorado, Connecticut, Kentucky, Louisiana, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Wisconsin and Oregon.
If you live in Arkansas, Rhode Island or New Hampshire, it doesn't matter your age, the state mandates hearing aid coverage for all. The laws vary from state to state. Some states only require that employers offer hearing aid coverage. The amount of coverage also varies, as do the frequency of replacement, so hearing aid insurance might still be mandatory even in these states.
If you have a child that wears a hearing aid due to a birth defect, you're not alone. Hearing loss rates as the most prevalent defect in the U.S. It's estimated that one-fifth of the children in the United States will have some type of hearing disorder or speech defect and about fourteen million Americans, about half of those with hearing loss, are under the age of 50. Due to the prevalence among young active individuals, hearing aid insurance to offset the cost of damage or loss is vitally important.
Parents of young children who often remove their hearing aids because they become itchy at the back of the ear, or lose them during their active day, will find hearing aid insurance a blessing. Children, whether hearing challenged or with full hearing ability, will often roughhouse.
Hearing aids delicate instruments are somewhat fragile and don't fare well in many active situations, especially if you don't have one specifically designed to handle rough action. Hearing aid insurance can help defer the cost of replacing the hearing aids.
Some health insurance companies will pay audiological screening costs to evaluate any type of hearing loss, some may even cover the cost of the hearing aid, but often there's no coverage or just partial coverage for these expensive devices. While hearing aid insurance won't pay for the first hearing aid, they will pay for a new one if you lose or destroy the old hearing aid. This helps defray any out of pocket expense you may have.
Even if your health insurance covers the cost of the initial hearing aid, they often have a limit on how frequently the company will pay for a replacement. Hearing aid insurance can fill in the gaps if you or your child's hearing aids are lost or destroyed before your health insurance company will pay for another.
For older adults, far more prone to hearing loss, Medicare does not cover the cost of the hearing aid. Some Medicare supplements and Medicare Advantage policies may pay for a portion or even cover the entire cost, but only once every few years. If you lose your hearing aid in between those times, or break it, the replacement or repairs come out of your pocket. Medicaid, does pay for hearing aids, they do have a limit also on how frequently they pay. There's no need to go without a hearing aid just because of a freak accident if you have hearing aid insurance.
Hearing aid insurance often has several different options, depending on the company and the plan you select. While many of the plans pick up the cost of replacement in the event your hearing aid was accidentally damaged or lost, a few such will also cover the cost of repairs due to normal wear and tear. You have the option of insurance either one or two hearing devices. In order to find the rate, you select the company from which you purchased the device and the model. At that point you find the cost of the hearing aid insurance.
Companies Offering Hearing Aid Insurance
Esco started in 1989 and started by insurance professionals and hearing aid specialists. It leads the marketplace in providing hearing aid users with coverage for damage and loss of their hearing instrument. The company covered over ¾ million different hearing instruments.
Esco offers two different plans, Protection Plus plan and the Platinum plan. The Protection Plus plan pays for accidental loss and damage. The Platinum plan pays for both and adds in normal wear and tear coverage.
Plan Plus is not a traditional hearing aid insurance policy but simply offers discounts to their network of audiologists. You receive 10 percent of the networks normal fees and 20 percent off repairs as well as receive free hearing aid maintenance and get considerable discounts on hearing aids.
Midwest Hearing Industries, Inc has been in the hearing aid insurance business for 45 years. The company is located in Minneapolis, MN and the originators of hearing aid insurance. They cover the loss you experience due to hearing instruments damage by fire, accidental breakage, auto accident, water damage, mysterious disappearance and more.
Most of the hearing aid manufacturers will provide insurance for your hearing aids when you purchase them. This is generally included in the purchase price. It is called LS & D coverage or Lost, Stolen, Damage insurance. The coverage term is anywhere from 1 year to 3 years depending on the manufacturer and the level of technology hearing aid you select.
Money Saving Tip
If you own your home, call your home owner’s insurance company and ask them if your hearing aids can be covered for loss and damage. Some insurance policies will cover your hearing aids for as little as $10 per year per aid. This coverage will not cover repairs if your hearing aid stops working.
As a rule of thumb, the more expensive hearing aids will have longer term insurance coverage. Also, most manufacturers will renew or extend the LS & D coverage and can be combined with a repair warranty.
For example, in my practice, I would offer an extension of the Lost, Stolen, and Damage Insurance with a repair warranty for 1 year for $250 per hearing aid. Dishing out $500 for insurance and warranty coverage on your hearing instruments is a little pricey. But if your aids are doing a good job for you, it may be worth the additional investment to protect them and keep them working well.
The cost to insure your hearing aid varies by the coverage and type of hearing device. There are three different categories of hearing devices. The lowest cost is the conventional hearing instruments.
Programmables, CICs and Advanced Technology Hearing Instruments are the mid-range cost to insure and Digital hearing instruments cost the most to insure. The company allows you to select a refitting allowance program where they pay the cost of both repair and replacement in addition to refitting the hearing aid. The company also offers a 150 program where they pay up to $150 to the dispensing clinic for any incidentals involved with your loss.
Group or personal health insurance programs vary by state requirements and company. While some of these plans offer insurance for hearing aids, read the plan carefully to find out if you qualify for coverage. Even if you do, you're often limited to a specific number of replacements based on length of time.
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