The UnitedHealth Group, one of the largest health insurance companies in the U.S., has announced that it will begin offering hearing aids as part of its myriad of health care products. The company has introduced four different kinds of hearing aids each made by IntriCon Corp., a manufacturer of small medical devices. UnitedHealth has begun offering hearing aids as part of a way to promote Medicare enrollment. The company will be offering hearing aids for eligible Medicare plan members at retail prices, which will be lower than prices found outside of the Medicare program.
The insurers plan is to reach out to millions of people that have hearing problems and do not have access to hearing aids with their current insurance plans. By enrolling in the insurer’s Medicare plan, consumers will be able to take advantage of the multitude of benefits inherent within the plan itself, plus gain access to new hearing aids. For those that do not want to enlist in Medicare, UnitedHealth will also be selling their hearing aids over the Internet.
The market for hearing aids and other audiology devices in the U.S. is currently $5.7 billion with a market comprised of some 36 million people with hearing related health issues. These numbers are expected to grow as the population ages, presenting growth opportunities for insurance and health care companies. UnitedHealth is one of the first health insurance companies to enter the market in several years.