Collaboration focuses on offering affordable hearing aids available to purchase with insurance OTC benefit dollars
NORTHFIELD, Ill., Feb. 2, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Medline today announced a new partnership with MDHearing, a direct-to-consumer hearing aid manufacturer, to make it easier for people to purchase affordable hearing aids without a prescription. The collaboration marks Medline's first entrance into the hearing aid market as a distributor.
Over half of people aged 70 and over in the United States suffer from mild or moderate hearing loss. Left untreated, it can greatly increase the risk of dementia. Historically, neither Medicare nor most insurance policies have covered the cost of hearing aids, but a final ruling from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) now allows consumers to purchase hearing aids online or in stores at lower costs and without a prescription.
Through this partnership, Medline is working with insurance providers to add the hearing aids as part of their OTC supplemental benefit offering for 2023. There is a greater opportunity to improve member outcomes and retention through creating benefit dollars for OTC hearing aids as Medicare Advantage and other health plans evaluate their program offering. The average cost for a pair of hearing aids bought at a clinic is $4,600, but MDHearing's aids range from $300-$700. The company, founded by a Chicago ENT in 2008, has sold over one million hearing aids.
"Prior to the final ruling from the FDA, health plan members have been on the hook for paying out of pocket for prescribed hearing aids. In partnering with Medline, we're making it convenient and easy for health plan members to use their benefits dollars to purchase high quality hearing aids, saving them thousands of dollars, while still getting support from licensed hearing professionals," said Doug Breaker, CEO of MDHearing.
MDHearing's lineup includes the following hearing aids:
- Neo, an entry-level in the canal rechargeable aid that is one size fits most and is pre-programmed to fit age-related hearing loss,
- Volt, a behind the ear rechargeable aid that features dual microphones and 4 pre-set programs,
- Volt Max, a digital, behind the ear with adaptive directional microphones. Users can program noise reduction, microphone direction and other settings from a mobile application. The Volt Max offers remote adjustment from licensed hearing professionals
MDHearing is a leader in hearing health telemedicine. MDHearing is the only OTC hearing aid company that offers a phone hearing screening test, while also offering a simple online hearing screening test. The company staffs a US-based support team of licensed hearing professionals that help customers over the phone, email, SMS and fully HIPAA compliant video. MDHearing performs tens of thousands of remote hearing aid adjustments, video consultations, and hearing screening tests per year.
"We are always looking at new partnerships to help meet patients' evolving needs and make healthcare run better. Medline and MDHearing share a vision of going beyond transactional relationships and providing high quality customer service that makes it easier for patients to take care of themselves. Together, our goal is to help insurance providers continue to improve the member experience and reduce overall cost of care," said Katie Lavelle, director of business development, Insurance Benefits, Medline.
Learn more about MDHearing's portfolio of hearing aids at https://www.mdhearingaid.com/lp/medline-partnership/.
Medline is a healthcare company; a manufacturer, distributor, and solutions provider focused on improving the overall operating performance of healthcare. Partnering with healthcare systems and facilities across the continuum of care, Medline provides the clinical and supply chain resources required for long-term financial viability in delivering high-quality care. With the scale of one of the country's largest companies and the agility of a family-led business, Medline is able to invest in its customers for the future and rapidly respond to a dynamically changing market with customized solutions. Headquartered in Northfield, Ill., Medline has 34,000+ employees worldwide and does business in more than 125 countries and territories. Learn more about Medline at www.medline.com.
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