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ARTICLE Affordable Hearing Aids Now Available to U.S. Veterans Through New Program From hi HealthInnovations


MINNETONKA, Minn. (Nov. 9, 2012) – hi HealthInnovations, 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

hi HealthInnovations 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, hi HealthInnovations. "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.


The discount for veterans is an expansion of an affordable hearing aid program already available to people enrolled in UnitedHealthcare individual and employer-sponsored health benefits. Many UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage and Part D plan members also already enjoy a deep discount on hearing aids, with some of them paying no out-of-pocket costs for the devices. The general public also has access to the devices at $749 to $949 per device, which represents a deep discount compared to most competitor prices.


"Cost is a significant barrier for millions of Americans suffering from hearing loss, and this new discount will help make hearing aids more accessible and affordable for veterans and their spouses," Tseng said.


Each hearing aid comes with free batteries and ear tubes/wax guards that will last most users six months, as well as a 70-day money?back guarantee and free programming adjustments. hi HealthInnovations audiologists and hearing specialists offer education, counseling and support over the phone, online and in person.


For more information on product and pricing, visit hihealthinnovations.com.


About Optum
Optum is a leading information and technology-enabled health services business dedicated to helping make the health system work better for everyone. Optum comprises three companies – OptumHealth, OptumInsight and OptumRx – representing more than 35,000 employees worldwide who collaborate to deliver integrated, intelligent solutions that work to modernize the health system and improve overall population health.


About UnitedHealth Group
UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) is a diversified health and well-being company dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making health care work better. With headquarters in Minnetonka, Minn., UnitedHealth Group offers a broad spectrum of products and services through two distinct platforms: UnitedHealthcare, which provides health care coverage and benefits services; and Optum, which provides information and technology-enabled health services. Through its businesses, UnitedHealth Group serves more than 75 million people worldwide.