Listen up: Not all hearing aids are equal
An estimated one out of three people over age 65 has some degree of loss, according to the Center for Hearing and Communications, and hearing loss is the third most common chronic condition among Americans.
The Texas Attorney General’s office warns consumers to be cautious about buying over-the-counter hearing aids, particularly online or by mail order. Many devices sold this way are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Although they may be marketed as medical hearing devices, many contain only low-quality amplifiers.
The attorney general shares these tips when considering a hearing aid:
- Get a hearing screening and recommendation from a hearing professional who can tell you what type of hearing device will work best for you.
- Over-the-counter hearing aids are not FDA-approved. Stating that they are “registered” does not mean the FDA has endorsed or approved them.
- Know about the seller. Read online reviews and endorsements skeptically unless you know and trust the source.
Plan benefits for hearing health
The good news is all HealthSelectSM plans include coverage for hearing health, including hearing aids from recognized brands. Visit your plan’s website or contact the customer service number on the back of your plan ID card if you have questions or need help finding a hearing health provider.
- HealthSelect of Texas®: The plan pays up to $1,000 per ear every three years. In-network and out-of-network hearing aids are covered at the same level.
- Consumer Directed HealthSelectSM: The plan pays up to $1,000 per ear every three years after the annual deductible is met. HealthSelectSM Secondary: Benefits include up to $1,000 per ear for any consecutive 36-month period and $1 per battery. The annual deductible does not apply; participants pay 30% coinsurance for a routine hearing test.
- HealthSelectSM Medicare Advantage Plan PPO: Coverage includes one routine hearing exam per plan year and up to $2,000 for one or both ears every three years. The plan has a network of more than 7,000 credentialed hearing professionals nationwide. Visit UnitedHealthcare's HealthSelect Medicare Advantage Plan PPO hearing health webpage.