, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company and Optum business, has launched a new program to make hearing aids more affordable for U.S. veterans and their spouses.
The new program offers veterans and their spouses high-quality, custom-programmed digital hearing aids for as little as $649 to $849 each, depending on the model chosen. That compares to some hearing aids that retail for as much as $4,000 each.
Hearing loss is a growing health concern for some veterans, in part because of their history of noise exposure experienced during their time of service. Hearing loss is the second most common health condition among veterans, affecting more than 670,000 members of the armed forces nationwide, according to The Hearing Journal.
To access the discount program, veterans work with a health professional, such as an audiologist, hearing aid dispenser or primary care physician, to get their hearing tested. Those results, along with a copy of the veteran’s military ID card or discharge papers, can then be submitted by either fax or mail:
- Fax test results to: 1-877-955-4336
- Mail test results to: hi HealthInnovations, 3033 Momentum Place, Chicago, IL 60689.
will then review the test results and follow up by phone to recommend an appropriate hearing device.
“Hearing aids can improve the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of veterans nationwide suffering from hearing loss,” said Lisa Tseng, M.D., CEO,
. “Providing this discount for our military veterans and their spouses is a way to thank them for their courageous service to our country.”
Untreated hearing loss can affect a person’s ability to stay connected to friends and family, contributing to social isolation, depression and lower income. While 90 percent of people with hearing loss can benefit from hearing aids, fewer than 20 percent currently use them, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The high cost of most hearing aids is often a barrier for people to use them.