The benefits of private health hearing extras cover

Sep 22, 2021

Are you taking advantage of the benefits that private health hearing extras cover offers?

Medicare and basic private health insurance can help you treat hearing loss. But have you ever considered adding hearing extras cover to a private health plan? Hearing insurance can deliver tremendous value for members in terms of cost and quality of care. Let’s explore four broad benefits that hearing extras cover provides.

1. Hearing extras benefits can help manage the cost of hearing loss.

Hearing loss is a common health challenge affecting many Australians across all areas of the community with approximately 3.6 million Australian’s experience hearing loss. In the elderly, approximately three in every four Australians over the age of 70 experience hearing loss. For the young, evidence suggests that 39 children in 10,000 will have some form of hearing loss by the age of 17. Thanks to Australia’s growing ageing population, the prevalence of hearing loss is expected to more than double by 2060.

Most people suffering from hearing decline could benefit from wearing hearing aids. Yet, among those who have treatable hearing loss, only a small percentage have ever used them. Many individuals resist or delay getting treatment because of the high cost which can amount to thousands of dollars per pair, plus potentially several hundred dollars more for batteries and professional services.

Health plan members with a hearing benefit can cut their expenses making them more likely to address their hearing issues.

2. Hearing extras benefits improve access to treatments for better overall health

The connection between hearing health and overall health has become more evident with a growing body of research. Hearing health is critically linked to a person’s social, emotional, cognitive, and physical wellbeing. Hearing loss is associated with several adverse health effects, including a higher incidence of heart disease, diabetes, and even depression. Recent research associates untreated hearing loss with other very serious health conditions, including cognitive decline and dementia. The research concluded that hearing loss is the number one modifiable risk factor for dementia. Another study recently found that people aged 60 or older with hearing loss are 47% more likely than their normal-hearing peers to experience symptoms of depression.

This means that treating hearing loss could slow the rate of cognitive decline as we age. People who treat their hearing loss are more likely to engage socially and connect well with others. Acting on hearing loss blocks the pathways from hearing loss to social isolation, which is a risk factor for dementia, depression, heart disease and stroke.

Hearing extras, as part of your private health insurance benefits, broadens access to treatments that can have positive health effects beyond improved hearing.

3. The knock-on effects of acting on hearing loss helps the individual and the broader economy.

Increasingly, consumers recognise the contributions of good hearing to their overall health and quality of life. If you are healthier, you will incur fewer health costs throughout your life. But it’s not just the individual that benefits. The overall economy also benefits because less illness means less money needs to be spent on health services. This, in turn, acts to suppress health insurance premiums. Everyone benefits.

To put this into perspective, a recent report measuring the impacts of hearing loss on the economy found that total health system expenditure attributed to hearing loss in 2017 was estimated to be $881.5 million, or $245 per person with hearing loss. The report concluded that the total cost of hearing loss in Australia in 2017 was $33.3 billion, or $9,280 per person with hearing loss. Of this total figure, 48% is financial costs ($15.9 billion), and the remaining 52% is lost wellbeing ($17.4 billion).

4. Hearing extras provides more choice for health insurance members.

While the Medicare system and basic health insurance cover go some way to meeting healthcare needs, those wanting personalised service and access to the best possible hearing treatments and technology could benefit from extras cover. Hearing aids are an excellent case in point.

It is well established that most people with hearing loss can benefit from wearing hearing aids. There are many options available from numerous brands. However, the most important thing is selecting the right hearing aid to suit your personal needs. This may not be possible with basic health cover, and you may be forced to compromise, resulting in a sub-optimal hearing solution.

With Victorian Hearing, it’s win, win.

If you want to make the most of your extras cover, Victorian Hearing is ready to help and guide you on that path. Victorian Hearing is client-focused; we strive for outstanding client outcomes.

It makes no financial difference to our staff if they fit a fully subsidised hearing aid, or top-of-the-range hearing aid, as no incentive exists to pressure clients to consider more expensive options. We provide hearing solutions using a collaborative approach. We consider a range of factors – level of hearing loss, listening needs and goals, dexterity, cosmetics, motivation, lifestyle, and budget, to provide the best hearing solutions for each individual. The best solutions are based on our clients hearing needs.

Victorian Hearing has a clinic near you. Contact us.