I am a new member who has really benefited from the wealth of information here. One thing I could not find was much information on EPIC Hearing Health Care, which my insurance company uses to administer their hearing benefits.
So here is what I have learned in the past week:
EPIC has negotiated prices with manufacturers (their brochure lists Phonak, Resound,Siemens, Oticon, Sonic, Unitron, and Widek). They will provide quotes on other manufacturers, but at least with Starkey, the pricing was not very good.
Based on the experience of someone else in the forum, the EPIC benefit can be offered by an insurer in two ways: either as a referral for discounted pricing (perhaps no benefit at all, depending on the HA and the discount); or with an actual coverage amount. For example, my insurer covers a specific dollar benefit and sent me to EPIC to handle the following process:
EPIC refers patient to a local audiologist who recommends a specific HA.
EPIC provides a price that includes fittings and follow-up.
The patient pays EPIC the difference between the coverage amount provided by the insurer and EPICs discount price, and the audiologist orders the unit and dispenses.
The patient has a 45 day trial period. Returns may incur a $175 clinic fee, depending on local regulations and the situation.
Normal manufacturer warrantees and loss coverage apply, but are administered through EPIC.
So far EPIC has been very responsive, but I will update this once the trial period is over to let everyone know how the full process went. I have no affiliation with the company, but this might help others whose insurance companies also use EPIC to administer hearing benefits.