I am a first time Hearing Aid purchaser, and the process has been quite fascinating. I have United Health Care in Florida, and can only use their benefit in network. My benefit is up to $10,000, every three years, and I am responsible for a ten percent copay and my deductible.
I found an ENT and an audiologist in network, but their office told me that they have no contracts with any insurance companies for HA’s. That was technically correct, but they didn’t give me the workaround.
I also called UHC about this to find a network provider. First, they couldn’t explain why my ENT and audi were in network for all of my testing, but not for providing the HA’s. I was very disappointed, because I already have a lot of confidence in my ENT and my audi.
When you call UHC asking for a network provider, I was instructed to search for DME companies and then call each one to see of they do HA’s. Of course, none of them do. That was a wild goose chase.
When I finally got to a “supervisor,” she mentioned that EPIC was the only UHC in network provider. Since the benefit is so large, I decided to use EPIC, but I entered into the relationship very skeptically. I am pleased to report that there seems to be nothing to worry about.
EPIC carries all of the major brands and models, far beyond the capability of any single audiologist. There is some initial paperwork and pre-authorization, but so far it has been painless. EPIC handles all of the financial portion of the transaction. I am expected to pay my deductible, and the ten percent co-pay in advance. Then they will order the HA’s and ship them to the audi for fitting etc.
I am unaware of any limits placed by EPIC on my audi, other than justifying that the HA’s are medically necessary. So far I have been very pleased with EPIC. If that changes, I will certainly post an update.
The only problem that I have had is getting information about EPIC from UHC and from my audi. Once I got that, everything since has been smooth sailing.
I am interested whether providers are happy or unhappy with EPIC. It seems like an unnecessary intermediary for them. On the other hand, I guess the benefit to UHC is consistency in price; they only to negotiate with one provider.