Exploring United Healthcare with Flex Audiology: The Flex Audiology Show #7

04/03/2024 | Flex Audiology Show, Insurance, Patient Resources

“Having insurance doesn’t always mean free hearing aids; let us help you go through the fine print to take full advantage of your insurance policy.”

We’re back with another episode of the Flex Audiology Show! On this week’s agenda, we’re talking about United Healthcare.

As medical care workers, we deal with insurance on a daily basis and let me tell you, it doesn’t get any easier. It seems like a full-time job sometimes to keep up with the changing policies and offerings that these companies promise. 

We are dedicated to familiarizing ourselves with all the small print so we can help you better navigate these sometimes confusing agreements. 

One we see a lot of is United Healthcare. They are a massive company with many different policy styles.

Let’s talk about those that affect your hearing and your ability to get hearing aids. 

Does United Healthcare Insurance Cover Hearing Aids?

There is no direct answer to this question because it will differ for each person. Your personalized policy will outline the details and whether or not you’re eligible for the benefit. 

We see a lot of this benefit-style policy with UH in our area, so there’s a good chance you have it as well. We can go through the details with you to confirm or deny. 

These funded benefits are usually for $1000 – $2500, and you can take them anywhere to get the product you need. As long as the audiologist agrees to work with UH, you’ll be able to apply for your benefit there. 

We are in the United Healthcare benefit network, so if this is in your policy, we are more than happy to work with you and get you the specific device you need. 

What is United Healthcare Hearing?

Keeping with insurance companies’ habit of making things complicated, UH owns a subsidiary called United Healthcare Hearing. 

This is a separate company but is owned by UH. 

If you have this type of insurance, you are awarded a discount package to specific audiologists that are within the UHH network. We are in this network as well. 

When you go this route, you buy the hearing aids from UHH, and they ship them to us. Once we get them, we can make adjustments and fit them to your exact hearing needs. We then follow up with UHH to receive our compensation, but only after you have been fully taken care of. 

This program is more specific and less common than the benefits package offered by UH. Be sure to gather all the information before committing to any program.

Click here to check your benefits

United Healthcare Coverage of Hearing Aids and Hearing Care with Medicare Advantage (Part C) Plans

Many of my patients are now of the age when a hearing loss is more likely, but their original Medicare plan does not cover any of their hearing care costs so they have a supplemental plan or rider to cover those expenses.

United Healthcare has several Medicare Advantage plans in association with the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). These help with the cost of hearing exams and hearing aids, with coverage depending on your plan and location.

All the Medicare Advantage plans below provide routine hearing care by a hearing professional: $0 copay yearly hearing exam and $375 copay – $1,425 copay for each hearing aid provided through UnitedHealthcare Hearing, up to 2 hearing aids every year.

AARP Medicare Advantage Choice Plan 2 (PPO) – A $10 copay to see a primary care provider and $45 to see a specialist. No monthly premium, no referral required, out of network available, and in-network out-of-pocket maximum: $5,700.

AARP Medicare Advantage (HMO-POS) – No copay to see a primary care provider and $40 to see a specialist. No monthly premium, no referral required, out of network available, and in-network out-of-pocket maximum: $4.900.

AARP Medicare Advantage Patriot (PPO) – A $10 copay to see a primary care provider and $40 to see a specialist. No monthly premium, no referral required, out of network available, and in-network out-of-pocket maximum: $5,500.

AARP Medicare Advantage (HMO) – In-Network: Copayment for Medicare covered benefits and routine hearing exams $0.00. Maximum 1 visit every year. Prior authorization required.

The copayment for hearing aids of $375.00 to $1,425.00 is based on features and style. Maximum 2 hearing aids every year. Prior authorization required for hearing aids.

United Healthcare Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans

AARP® Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans insured by UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company include Plan A–C, F, G, K, L, N. These offer a hearing discount of the AARP member rate plus an additional $100 discount on hearing devices in the top 5 tiers of technology and features, ranging from standard to premium.

Click here to check your benefits

Where Will You Use Your Healthy Hearing?

We are lucky to have so many great things to do in our area that I love choosing one for each episode in the hopes of helping out local businesses and exposing people to new experiences. 

This week I want to highlight Strongs Brick Oven Pizzeria. 

This local business now has five different locations, which is a testament to how great their pizza is. The name says it all and there is no substitute for a hot, brick oven pizza. The crust is perfectly crispy every time, and it comes out fast. 

They have other options as well if you want to skip the pizza. Try out their chicken wings as these are world-class, in my opinion. Bring the kids as well; I’m sure they’ll love the chicken fingers. 

My favorite is the Lawrenceburg location, and now that I have been thinking about it all day, I may have to stop in for a slice on my way home from work later this afternoon.

Where to Get More Info

Our website features a dedicated page that breaks down insurance information into terms everyone can understand. Insurance jargon can be a tricky thing to deal with, and we know this.

We take it upon ourselves to process the information so you can spend less time worrying about it and more time focused on getting your hearing back to a healthy state.

Call us anytime with questions about your hearing health or if you know of a local business that deserves a shout-out on next week’s episode of The Flex Audiology Show.

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Dr. Person Au.D, CCC-A

Dr. Person has been a private practice owner since 2005. She currently specializes in hearing aids, tinnitus management and vestibular diagnostics, while operating in an unbundled service delivery model. Dr. Person is the host of The Unbundled Audiologist podcast. She serves as the incoming VP of Audiology for ISHA for a three year term. Her greatest accomplishment is creating a life where she can serve others while still spending quality time with her husband and two small children.