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Highmark partners with TruHearing to provide high-quality, affordable hearing aids to seniors

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (Nov. 23, 2015) — Nearly one-third of seniors between ages 65 and 74 and half of those over age 75 suffer from hearing loss and may benefit from hearing aids. Recognizing this, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia has partnered with TruHearing, a national hearing aid provider, to offer an enhanced hearing aid benefit to its Medicare Advantage members in West Virginia beginning Jan. 1, 2016.

Through this partnership, Highmark's Medicare Advantage members with Freedom Blue PPO plans will be eligible for a routine hearing exam, hearing aid fitting and evaluation and two hearings aids per calendar year at significant cost savings. While the cost for one hearing aid can range from $1,500 to $3,000 without insurance, this enhanced benefit means that members will only pay $699 to $999 per hearing aid, depending on the type.

"Hearing loss is the third most common chronic health condition among older Americans, yet many seniors cannot afford the high cost of hearing aids," said Tim Lightner, Highmark vice president of senior markets. "This partnership will make hearing aids more affordable for our Medicare Advantage members and, most importantly, improve their quality of life."

In addition to the enhanced hearing aid benefit, Freedom Blue PPO members will also have access to routine dental and vision benefits, plus other benefits not covered by traditional Medicare or Medigap plans. These benefits include, but are not limited to, the SilverSneakers Fitness program, which offers free access to fitness classes, pools and exercise equipment at more than 12,000 participating locations nationwide; 24/7 access to health and wellness coaching facilitated by a Registered Nurse Health Coach; and no-cost preventive exams and screenings to help members stay healthy, independent and help avoid or delay the onset of illness and disease.

Freedom Blue PPO, offered in 33 counties in West Virginia, earned a four-star quality rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for 2016. The rating system, based on a scale of one to five stars, educates consumers on the overall quality of Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans. The rating indicates the overall measure of a plan's quality and is a cumulative indicator of quality of care, access to care, responsiveness to member needs and member satisfaction.

Highmark is now enrolling Medicare-eligible individuals for the 2016 Medicare annual election period, which runs from October 15 through December 7. Medicare-eligible individuals interested in learning more about Highmark's Medicare Advantage plans are encouraged to visit Highmark's Medicare website or call 866-382-0741 Monday through Sunday between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. TTY users may call 711.

Highmark Senior Solutions Company is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. This information is not a complete description of benefits. Contact the plan for more information. Limitations, copayments, and restrictions may apply. Benefits, premiums and/or co-payments/co-insurance may change on January 1 of each year. The provider network may change at any time. You will receive notice when necessary.

Medicare evaluates plans based on a 5-star rating system. Star ratings are calculated each year and may change from one year to the next.

Highmark Senior Solutions Company is a PPO plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Highmark Senior Solutions Company depends on contract renewal.

About Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia serves approximately 280,000 customers through the company’s health care benefits business and also serves tens of thousands of additional members through the Blue Card program. Highmark West Virginia employs approximately 800 people in Parkersburg, Charleston and Wheeling. Highmark West Virginia is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information, visit

For more information, contact:
Kristy Cramlet
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia