Benefits of ESCO's Protection Plus Program
AudiologyOnline: Thanks for your time to discuss the hearing aid warranty and loss and damage coverage. Specifically, let’s discuss the manufacturer’s partnership that utilizes the Protection Plus program – tell me about this plan and how it benefits the practitioner.
Jim Guthier: After a patient uses their manufacturer’s loss & damage coverage, the cost to replace that new hearing instrument can be expensive. By choosing to offer Protection Plus through this partnership program, practitioners can extend their patient’s loss and damage coverage at a reduced cost. Our goal is to provide the patient invaluable peace of mind.
AudiologyOnline: In addition to reduced cost and patient peace of mind, are there additional benefits for professionals in offering this manufacturers program?
Jim: Yes! Ensuring patient loyalty is vital to the health of any practice. Our statistics indicate that 54% of patients will price shop if they lose their hearing aids a second time. ESCO coverage provides practitioners with an affordable solution to offer patients only during their Manufacturer Repair Warranty period, after the loss of the initial hearing instrument. And, all ESCO authorized replacements are made through the original manufacturer, enabling practitioners to offer their patients consistent quality of care.
AudiologyOnline: Does this coverage option apply to devices that are out of the manufacturer repair warranty period?
Jim: No, this coverage applies to patients that have hearing instruments that are currently covered by the manufacturer repair warranty, but have used their loss and damage coverage. The program is offered to patients once their manufacturers loss coverage has been used while still under the manufacturers repair warranty.
AudiologyOnline: Can the practitioner charge fitting fees?
Jim: Yes, the practitioner may charge a fitting fee. The ESCO policy covers the replacement of the device. ESCO works with the practitioner to communicate their fitting fees to the policyholder at time of enrollment.
AudiologyOnline: Can this policy be renewed?
Jim: Yes, the policy is renewable annually as long as the device is under the manufacturers repair warranty.
AudiologyOnline: With Protection Plus, how many loss claims may a patient have?
Jim: The program is designed to be used only during the manufacturer’s repair warranty, if the hearing aid is lost under the ESCO policy the manufacturer warranty will become null and void. However, if the patient would like additional coverage, the practitioner may offer other ESCO policies separate from this program.
AudiologyOnline: Does this policy cover normal wear and tear to patients’ hearing aids?
Jim: No, this policy covers loss and damage only while the hearing instrument is still under the manufacturers repair warranty.
AudiologyOnline: How quick are claims processed?
Jim: Once a claim has been submitted to ESCO, we will respond within one business day.
AudiologyOnline: What happens when patients choose to upgrade technology that may be already covered under ESCO?
Jim: When the time comes for patients to update their hearing instrument technology, ESCO will prorate the remaining insurance coverage on their existing hearing instruments and reimburse the patient.
AudiologyOnline: There are other companies that offer hearing aid coverage – why should a hearing care professional choose ESCO?
Jim: ESCO has more than 25 years of experience working with hearing care practices and their patients through servicing warranties and loss and damage coverage. We are the largest independent provider of extended warranties and loss and damage coverage, and the trusted choice of practitioners. Practitioners choose to work with ESCO because of our unsurpassed customer service, comprehensive coverage, low premiums and payment plans and our efficient claims processing. All authorized replacements and repairs are made through the original manufacturer, enabling practitioners to offer their patients consistent quality of care.
AudiologyOnline: How does a professional sign up with ESCO?
Jim: It’s very easy. Simply go to our site and fill in the basic information. An ESCO Sales Executive will be in contact with you to complete the application process. You can also contact an ESCO Sales Executive at 1-800-992-3726.
AudiologyOnline: Thanks, this has been very informative. Readers can also view the ESCO Expo Page on AudiologyOnline for more ESCO news, interviews and resources.
Jim Guthier is President of ESCO.