The Untapped Value of the Hearing Benefit
With medical inflation outpacing regular inflation, employers are feeling the employee benefits cost squeeze.
Rob Gibbs discusses how the hearing benefit stands out in comparison to typical benefits and why it is a key opportunity for commercial brokers.
As employers evaluate their most valuable benefits for the sake of attracting and retaining talent, hearing healthcare benefits are extremely inexpensive, particularly when compared to other core health benefits like medical, vision and dental. Hearing benefits start as low as five cents PMPM and can be configured in multiple ways to best meet the needs of each client.
The cost of entry is low enough for agents and brokers to offer employers not only a new, valuable, whole-person health benefit but also for the organization to demonstrate its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Hearing benefits make it possible for more employees to be engaged and productive—according to TruHearing research, 49% of employees with treated hearing loss reported feeling more included at work after wearing hearing aids—while making the company more appealing for retention and recruiting.
TruHearing achieves cost savings on hearing aids by buying at scale from all major manufacturers to offer a large selection of the highest-quality hearing aids with the latest features; plus, TruHearing offers a private label for even further savings. We also negotiate pricing with a qualified provider network of hearing care professionals to offer low- or no-cost exams and appointments.
Without a benefits partner, an employee’s out-of-pocket cost can be unpredictable, drastically inconsistent, and unattainably high. In the case of one of our union plans, before TruHearing the cost for hearing aids averaged $6,000 a pair. Five members were billed $10,000+ for a pair, and one member $16,000+. With a partner, costs are predictable, consistent, and range from as low as zero to $1,000 to $2,000 for a pair of hearing aids depending on the amount the employer wants to fund to drive down employee costs.
The ratio of people with hearing loss is high compared to those who start the path to seeking treatment. To improve that ratio, we put tremendous resources and effort into making the process simple to understand and easy for everyone involved.
For members, one of the barriers to treatment is that their first hearing exam can seem daunting. Why? It’s less familiar than a typical healthcare visit like a yearly physical or a dental cleaning. Since we know members don’t know what to expect at a hearing exam, we give them a direct line to a personal Hearing Consultant for support through their entire journey: TruHearing schedules the provider appointments, sends exam reminders, and works with the member’s hearing benefit provider to answer questions about the member’s benefit with the goal of providing an unmatched white-glove experience. We routinely (blind) survey members and providers about the quality of their journey, constantly improving our process to achieve world-class ratings.
TruHearing puts that same unmatched effort and service into our relationships with brokers and plans, resulting in surveyed partners giving TruHearing a satisfaction rating of 4.9/5. We make every step of the hearing benefit solution process simple to understand and easy to implement in the often-unfamiliar landscape of hearing healthcare.