Costco Partners with UHA as First in Nation to Allow Direct Payment from Health Plan for Hearing Aids
Honolulu, HI (July 15, 2019) – Costco has partnered with UHA Health Insurance, which will be the first health plan in the nation to pay directly for its members’ hearing aids purchased at Costco.
The partnership will also include direct payment for eyeglasses and contact lenses purchased at Costco’s Optical Centers.
As of July 15, UHA members who are also Costco members will no longer need to pay at Costco and submit receipts to UHA for reimbursement. Instead, Costco will bill UHA directly on its members’ behalf.
“Direct payment is a significant convenience for our members,” explains Howard Lee, president and CEO of UHA. “And we are proud that Costco selected us to launch that service for hearing aids with them.”
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communicative Disorders, part of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, estimates that 28.8 million adults could benefit from hearing aids.
Closer to home, Hawai‘i has a significant population with hearing loss. According to the Hawai‘i Journal of Medicine and Public Health, approximately three infants are born each year with permanent hearing loss, based on Department of Health data. Further, the study notes that in the U.S. more than 60 percent of people over the age of 70 report permanent hearing loss that requires audiology intervention, which includes hearing aids, and the state has a large and growing elderly population. (The study may be found here.)
“We’re excited to be partnering with an innovative health insurer like UHA for a first-ever roll-out of this convenient service for hearing aids,” said Denise Mogil, U.S. optical director of professional services of Costco. “Direct billing and payment is an added value and our way of making it easier for our mutual members to get the health services they need.”
For more information, visit uhahealth.com.
About UHA Health Insurance (University Health Alliance)
UHA was founded as University Health Alliance in 1996 by a group of physician faculty at University of Hawai‘i John A. Burns School of Medicine. UHA provides medical, drug and vision plans to more than 4,600 Hawai‘i employer groups and over 60,000 members. As the only health plan in Hawai‘i founded by physicians, it was the first to offer preventive and wellness care focused health plans in the state. It continues to be physician led and now offers one of the largest physician and provider networks in Hawai‘i. By meeting strict quality standards to ensure clinically sound decision-making that respects the rights of patients and medical providers, UHA received accreditation in Health Utilization Management through URAC, the independent nonprofit that promotes healthcare quality.