As we approach the end of 2020, now is a great time to start considering how to make the most of your insurance benefits before the end of the year. This may be the perfect time for you to consider upgrading your Cochlear sound processor.

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To learn more about how to maximize your insurance benefits before the end of the year, we spoke with Lauren Klein, a Customer Relationship Specialist (CRS), here at Cochlear. As a member of the CRS team, Lauren is an expert at helping recipients understand the benefits of upgrading to new technology and guiding them through the upgrade process. “How deductibles work and why it’s important to use your insurance benefits before year end are some of the more common questions I receive,” Lauren says.

Lauren describes 2020 insurance benefits

Maximizing your deductible

Your deductible is the specified amount of money that you must pay out-of-pocket before your insurance will pay toward your services. Depending on your specific plan, once you’ve satisfied your deductible your insurance will cover a higher percentage of your covered services, which typically means lower costs to you.

If you’ve already met your deductible, your insurance may cover a higher percentage of the cost of a new sound processor. If you haven’t yet reached your deductible, the costs associated with a new sound processor may help you reach your deductible and lower your out-of-pocket costs for the remainder of the year. Either way, you could maximize your insurance benefits for the remainder of 2020 and lower your out of pocket costs.

“A lot of recipients don’t realize that upgrades are often covered in full or in part by insurance if their healthcare provider deems it to be medically necessary,” Lauren says. “It’s always exciting when I get to tell the recipient that the upgrade is more affordable than they think.”

In most cases, insurance will also cover orders for medically necessary parts and accessories like cables, coils, magnets and batteries. “When it comes to using your insurance benefits to upgrade or purchase necessary accessories, it’s always worth trying to see if your insurance will cover the cost or not. I speak with a lot of recipients that just assume their insurance won’t cover anything. Cochlear’s Reimbursement and Insurance Services team are experts in assisting recipients with the insurance process and obtaining reimbursement approval where possible. You may be surprised!”

Cochlear is here to navigate the insurance process for you

We are here to help you navigate through every step of the insurance process. For upgrade orders, we’ll work with your insurance provider on your behalf, which includes collecting all the necessary documentation to determine coverage and billing your insurance directly – even if Cochlear is not commercially contracted with your insurance plan. Cochlear may also be able to directly bill your insurance for related parts and accessories orders if we are contracted with your provider.

To Lauren, “The biggest benefit for our recipients is the ability to save them time and energy by working with insurance on their behalf. I always try to remind recipients that a claim isn’t as simple as calling and getting authorized or denied. There is a fair amount of documentation, reviewing, and communication back and forth with the insurer during the authorization process. Reimbursement and Insurance Services is a great resource to help our recipients feel more empowered and help them focus more on their day to day life. The insurance process can be frustrating and confusing, so it is great that Cochlear can take on the heavy lifting for the recipient.”

Upgrade today to maximize your 2020 insurance benefits

It is important to keep in mind that benefit qualification by your insurance company and the amount you pay toward your deductible are dependent on when your order is shipped from Cochlear, not when the order is placed. For your order to count toward your 2020 deductible, insurance companies require order claim submissions to have a ship date on or before December 31, 2020. Since the average processing time for a sound processor order is approximately 6-8 weeks, we recommend that you plan ahead by speaking with your audiologist and placing your upgrade order no later than October 31, 2020.1

Lauren recognizes the added benefit of being able to help recipients maximize their insurance benefits just before the end of the year. “Since it’s so close to the holidays, it’s great to hear stories of recipients being able to hear their relatives better at holiday celebrations or being able to open their sound processors as holiday gifts. This brings so much joy to my heart.”

Interested in learning more about our latest technology?

As part of our lifetime commitment to you, Cochlear is constantly innovating our hearing technology to improve your comfort, performance and usability. Our latest sound processors are designed to help you hear your best with more wearing options, wireless connections and new features. Learn more about our next-generation Cochlear™ Nucleus® Sound Processor and Baha® Sound Processor technology.

Contact us at 1-866-922-8673 to make the most out of your 2020 insurance benefits and get started with your sound processor order today.

  1. Orders placed on or before October 31, 2020 are not guaranteed to be approved by your insurer or shipped on or before the December 31, 2020 insurance deadline. Placing an order through Cochlear’s Reimbursement and Insurance Services does not imply approval from your insurance carrier. Information provided by Cochlear Americas regarding insurance coverage or reimbursement is provided as guidance only and is not intended as reimbursement or legal advice. Cochlear Americas makes no representation or warranty regarding such information or its completeness, accuracy, fitness for a particular purpose, or that following such guidance will result in any form of coverage or reimbursement from any insurer. Information presented is subject to change at any time. To be sure that you have the most current and applicable information available for your unique circumstances, please consult your own experts and seek your own legal advice regarding your reimbursement needs. In all cases, products or services billed must be medically necessary, actually performed and appropriately documented in the medical record. You will be responsible for paying any applicable coinsurance, deductible, or amounts not covered by your insurance to Cochlear. Coverage determinations and out-of-pocket costs may vary for individuals with private insurance. Please keep in mind, if you choose to self-pay today, you may not be able to submit a claim to your insurance on your own if Cochlear is contracted with your private insurance provider. Visit www.Cochlear.com/US/insurancelist to see if Cochlear is contracted with your insurance provider. If Cochlear is contracted with your insurance provider, we suggest placing your order through Cochlear’s Reimbursement and Insurance Services.
Christine Casson