HearUSA choices for HA through Kaiser Medicare


#1

I am due a new set of HA covered by my Kaiser Senior Advantage/Medicare insurance in March. Does anyone know when the best options would be through them. I am allotted $5000. for the pair, but they seem to charge way more than what could be purchased elsewhere (Costco, for example) for similar HA. Also, is there a particular time of year when they release the newest models?
Thanks for any info.


#2

Kaiser in Northern California carries Oticon, Phonak, Signia and Starkey. Last I heard, their top level aids were in the $5-6k range, so your insurance would likely fully cover mid level aid or leave with you a less than $1k copay for a premium aid. A lot depends on your loss and needs and wants, but I’d lean towards Oticon Opn or Phonak Marvel. This all assumes that your Kaiser is anything like Kaiser NCAL.


#3

wow, thanks for the info (I might see about that with BCBS and through HearUSA next year too although I once broke the bank with my current pair leaving me with 2500 LOL!!)


#4

I got my first Phonaks (model 5 or some name like that) from Kaiser about seven years ago for about $2400 asI recall. Got my new Phonaks (BR 50?) From Kaiser last April for about $2100. I would assume the second-generation Bluetooth models (Marvel) don’t have the glitches I have.


#5

It may depend on location of Kaiser, and certainly depends on what kind of coverage one has. Is the$2100 per pair or hearing aid? My Mom paid about $4k for 2 Audeo 50 BR (no bluetooth) about 2 years ago. She had no hearing aid insurance.


#6

I went into the HearUSA office the other day and asked about the price for my next hearing aids. They said that they won’t know until the time I come in to purchase them, which will be in March. Each person’s health insurance covers a different amount, even within Kaiser. My insurance will cover $2500 per hearing aid, so anything they are charging above that will be out of pocket. Still a very good deal for me, although they seem to charge way more than other suppliers for the same product.


#7

I have to say I’m jealous! I too have a Kaiser Senior Advantage/Medicare supplement, but my HA “benefit” is only $800/ear every 3 years. I just had my first audiology appointment, one at Kaiser in Portland, OR, followed the next day by another at my local Costco. I was glad to see that they agreed very closely, and I expect I’ll be picking up some KS8’s in the not too distant future. I tried to get Kaiser to order me up a pair, but they were uncooperative…


#8

Believe me, I feel very fortunate that my union worked out such a deal for us teachers. Still, it’s frustrating to be forced to go to one HA store and then discover the store doubles the prices for the same brand. Someone said that Kaiser owns a chunk of HearUSA and that might be why. Rumors perhaps? Anyway I’ll be going in a week to see what they have in the offerings.


#9

I went to a local Hearusa audiologist and she told me that Hearusa quoted the price for the following Phonak aids:
Naida B 70 UP 4,000 for a pair.
Naida V 90 UP 5,000 for a pair.
It is ridiculous to charge 5g for outdated Naida V UP aids. They do not offer Naida B90 UP.
My insurance provider will give me 1500 dollars each year for a pair of aids.


#10

“Kaiser” isn’t a unified entity. Kaiser in Northern California runs their own hearing aid clinics and carries, Oticon, Phonak, Signia and Starkey. Prices are roughly $6k, $5k and $4k for premium, advanced and standard aids respectively. One’s plan may or may not cover hearing aids. Check out details before committing.


#11

My 3-year wait is up, and I went to HearUSA to see what their offerings were. I am NOT allowed to purchase at any other retailer, nor am I allowed to purchase outside of SoCal Kaiser area. I’m fortunate to have $5000. applied to my purchase there from my insurer, and here’s what I was quoted, for the best HA with little to no out of pocket expense: Phonak M50 rechargeable Retail: $5190. My Cost: $190. The M70 and M90 would be $1790. and 2790. respectively. They quoted Siemens Pure 7NX at Retail 8890. My Cost: $3890. I understand those are comparable to the Costco KS 8.0, which go for $1599. What are your thoughts on the M50s vs the KS 8.0? I do want to get into the rechargeable streaming aids, but would probably pay more for a better product. They will allow a 60 day trial run, so that will certainly help.


#12

Man - you better Google HearingUSA and be careful. It is one screwed up operation. I did a review of Aud’s in my area and they were all extremely inexperienced, very young and only on the job a few months, one year max. Yea, you might save a buck or two but from what I’ve read you will get below average service and a very limited selection of HA’s to choose from. If Kaiser directly did HA tests and offered HA’s directly then that might be a win - win but when that service is contracted out to HearingUSA - it turns into a Train Wreck.


#13

I’ll answer your one question and then ramble a bit. I personally would be more interested in trying the M50 because I have tried the Signia NX and didn’t find them much different from my KS7. The M70 would have more features than the M50 for a similar out of pocket price to the KS8. It all depends on your priorities. What is the nature of your loss? How important is streaming to you? (Do you “need” it or would it just be nice?) What kind of phone do you use? What are your priorities?


#14

Rambling welcome. My loss is moderate. My current Siemens which were free from HearUSA 3 yrs ago when my insurance covered them have been adequate. I like technology and so want to stream for music, audiobooks, phone, etc. I use iPhone 8 for now. I have been OK with switching batteries every 7 - 9 days, but that’s with NO streaming. I’d prefer rechargeable batteries… especially if the streaming will be making me replace the non-rechargeable batteries too often. IF the quality of the Phonak M50 is as good/better than my current Siemens, and have the streaming and rechargeable batteries, I think I’ll be happy w/ the $190. charge. Putting out an additional $1600. for M70s or going to Costco and having to put out $1600. doesn’t sound appealing UNLESS they’re really that much better in terms of quality hearing. That’s my concern.


#15

I’m happy with the Aud at my HearUSA. She’s not the problem. I think she’s very experienced and explains things well. It’s the company itself, and the fact that they charge three to four times more for a similar product, AND that I’m forced to go there if I want to take advantage of my insurance covering a good amount of the cost. As I said in an earlier post: I’m fortunate that I have the insurance I do, but wish both Kaiser and HearUSA weren’t my only options, insurance-wise.


#16

Do you anticipate streaming from multiple devices? (Phone, tablet, laptop, etc.?) If so, it sounds like Phonak is a bit of a pain with that scenario, having to repair with each different device. If you love technology, the Resound Quattros have a great app that offers lots of control and offers a great streaming solution with iPhones. The M50s are a good hearing aid and will likely meet your hearing needs. If streaming with multiple devices is a priority and you like the idea of a phone app with lots of control, I’d check out Resound Quattros (assuming HearUSA carries them)


#17

I would only be streaming from iPhone 8 (phone music audiobooks) and MacBook Air (movies). I’m comfortable re-pairing Bose Bluetooth headphones to phone and laptop now (needing to remove HA) so I don’t anticipate that being too much trouble unless the M50 pairing is really clumsy. Thanks for your advice. I don’t believe my HearUSA has Resound Quattros.


#18

You might want to look at other threads on the forum regarding the Marvel’s streaming. Some people are very unhappy with the challenges of switching between devices. Others are thrilled with them.