The number of hearing aids lost because of facemasks skyrockets!

By Patrick Miller on March 18, 2021

At Ear Service Company (ESCO), the only product we offer is insurance for hearing devices. Whether it is protection from the financial impact of an aid suddenly lost, or by covering the cost to repair or replace a damaged device.

Because all insurance types are regulated and monitored closely, as an insurance agency, we are required to track and report on very complex and specific data points. ESCO continuously tracks what situation the wearer was in when they lost an aid. However, after speculation and rumors surfaced about facemasks being a significant reason for lost aids, ESCO began to examine internal data. In June of 2020, ESCO made a surprising discovery. 

By comparing data of loss claims filed from January 2016 to June of 2020, hearing aids lost from the removal of facemasks went from zero lost in February 2020 to become the second most prevalent reason of all time.

Hearing aid loss claims in 2020 

  • Disappearance / Misplaced = 69%
  • Face Mask Removal = 17%
  • Nursing Home or Retirement Facility loss = 5%
  • Damaged beyond repair = 5%
  • Animal / pet total loss = 3%
  • Unspecific/Random/Lost in Shipping = 1%

ESCO uses a broad general term to describe aids lost without reason. In short, the cause was unknown, or the loss was an accident. That term: disappearance/misplaced accounts for more than 78% of total claims in the past five years.

Compared to the number of instances involving a pet/animal each year, at just over 3%, the unknown reason is a significant number of aids lost.

However, hearing aids lost in 2020 from removing a facemask (all a cause of the pandemic) became the second highest reason in just weeks. Yes, hearing aids lost because of the removal of a facemask went from zero claims in February 2020 to over 50 claims in just a few short weeks.

It is difficult to describe what sort of impact this is and how it relates to the overall number of hearing aids lost in a year without pointing out, each of those lost hearing aids was someone’s way of communicating with family, friends, and loved ones. I think we all know how significant that is. Especially considering the isolation imposed by the pandemic. Not to mention, many hearing clinics were closed for a short period in late spring, early summer of 2020. Replacing a lost hearing aid just was not an option for several weeks.

It is still too early to report on data for 2021, but sadly, from early glimpses at lost hearing aid claims thus far in 2021, it looks like the number from facemask removal is continuing to ramp upward. 

If you wear hearing aids, you are likely asking, what can I do? Having to continue to wear facemasks well into 2021 is a realistic expectation. And changing your lifestyle or isolating yourself because of the mandate to wear facemasks is not reasonable. By taking suggestions through a random poll of hearing care providers, ESCO has some tips.

·         When removing a facemask, be mindful and double-check to ensure your hearing aids are still in place.

·         Ask a friend or loved one to remind you to double-check.

·         Use clips or lanyards to attach your hearing aid to clothing just in case it does slip off your ear.

·         Check with your provider on other tips or tricks on how to wear a facemask with hearing aids.

·         Most importantly, since accidents do happen, double-check that your hearing aids have loss and damage coverage.


Be Careful Removing Protective Face Masks When Wearing Hearing Aids

By Jon Holt on May 7, 2020

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that everyone should be wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are challenging to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) to protect the public from the COVID 19 coronavirus.

While we at ESCO endorse this practice, we want to pass on a word of caution to our policyholders. Please be extremely careful when you remove your masks while wearing hearing aids. The elastic ear attachments on the masks can catch on your aids, inadvertently removing them - and potentially leading to loss or damage.

You can be confident in case you do have a claim that ESCO is here to help.

Never Run Out of Hearing Aid Batteries Again!

By Jon Holt on March 5, 2020

For many with hearing loss it’s a common scenario: you’re enjoying life, out with friends or relaxing at home, when suddenly, BOOM. Your hearing aid battery dies and worse, you’re out of replacements.

Unfortunately, it’s not always convenient to run to the store for replacement hearing aid batteries. Whether the obstacle is a remote location, lack of mobility, a sudden snow storm, or even just a packed schedule, dropping everything and going on a battery run is not always an option.

By not having a plan in place for replacing hearing aid batteries, many hearing aid users become frustrated with their device. When a device isn’t functioning properly, even if it is due to a lack of charge, people become generally frustrated with the entire hearing aid experience.

Enter hearOclub, a hearing aid subscription service that delivers fresh hearing aid batteries on a set schedule, eliminating the gaps that can occur when you don’t have a regular replenishment plan. Their batteries are manufactured in the United States and aren’t stored in warehouses for extended periods of time like many brick and mortar stores.

You can sign up at, their plans start at just $7 per month.

Recycling Your Old Hearing Aid Batteries

By Jon Holt on February 27, 2020

A challenging aspect of adapting to your new hearing aids is the batteries that power them. Not only are they small and can be lost easily, but they also need to be replaced routinely. How long they work depends on the size of the battery, power level of your hearing aids, and if you are using wireless features.

On average, a size 10 battery will last three to five days; a size 312 for seven to 10 days; a size 13 will last ten to fourteen days; and a size 675, the biggest battery, should run for anywhere from two weeks to seventeen days. Because you are regularly replacing your hearing aid batteries, you may be tempted to throw the used button cell or zinc-air batteries into the trash. While convenient, tossing these tiny batteries into your trash may harm the environment.

Don't throw away old batteries - Zinc-air batteries found in most hearing aids use air as an energy source and come in a variety of sizes. Be mindful when disposing of these, as well as other hearing aid batteries, as zinc-air batteries contain zinc, which should never be tossed in with household waste.

Recycle your old batteries - A far better option is to recycle your batteries. Most municipalities have drop-off centers with recycling drop-off boxes for used batteries. The batteries will then be processed, and the toxic metals removed and sold for re-use in various industries.

Look for a rechargeable alternative - Rechargeable battery options are an increasingly popular alternative to single-use zinc-air hearing aid batteries. These batteries can be charged multiple times before they need to be replaced, making them a far more economical option. Consider the average yearly costs of the four sizes of single-use batteries: size 10 may cost around $150 for a pair; size 312 $80; size 13 $50; and size 675 $30 per year. Thankfully, rechargeable hearing aid batteries are growing in popularity.

The next time you catch yourself tossing your old batteries into the trash, think of recycling them instead. Please consider investing in rechargeable hearing aid batteries and save yourself the trouble of ever having to repurchase batteries.

Change Someone's Life by Donating your Old, Unused Hearing Aids.

By Jon Holt on October 30, 2019

“What should I do with my old hearing aids?” is one of the most recurring questions ESCO receives from customers.

There is often not a lot of thought given to your old hearing aids once you have purchased new devices. Quite often these devices get set aside, put in a drawer, or are simply tossed.

Instead, have you considered donating your hearing instruments?

A hearing aid that is no longer being used can make a big difference in someone else’s life – someone who could not afford a hearing aid without your donation. It could help a mother or father gain employment, or obtain a higher paying position.  It could improve a child’s ability to hear their teacher in the classroom and excel in school. Even just one used hearing aid can give the gift of sound, improving a person’s quality of life.

There are 36 million Americans living with significant hearing loss.Hearing-aid-project.jpg

The Hearing Aid Project, a program that aims to provide low-income people across the United States with access to hearing aids at no cost to promote healthier hearing is the option that ESCO highly recommends.

Central to The Hearing Aid Projects mission is the collection of hearing aids that have sat in drawers or have been discarded after users purchased new hearing aids. The donated devices are refurbished and fitted to new recipients, significantly eliminating financial obstacles that keep many low-income men, women and children from getting the hearing aids they need to restore and improve their quality of life.

This program serves all, from young adult through seniors. All donations are tax deductible and you will receive a letter of acknowledgment.

Make a difference in someone else’s life. Visit THE HEARING AID PROJECT online to learn more about their program.

If you are ready to donate, the process is easy - just click here to visit their site and fill out the online donation form.

Fall is Here – Tips to Keep your Hearing Aids from Falling Out

By Jon Holt on October 2, 2019

Fall is the time of year that involves cleaning gardens, raking leaves, and other outdoor activities that often increase the chance for losing your hearing aids.

Here are a few tips to keep your hearing aids in your ears this season:

  • Putting them on properly - Putting hearing aids on incorrectly makes it easy to lose track of them. These devices are designed to fit securely in or against your ear; a loose fit means more chances of loss.
  • Hearing aids come with instructions for proper fit. Putting them on properly may require tugging the ear to make the canal more full or twisting the device to make sure that it is secure. If you have issues following the instructions from the manufacturer, your audiologist or hearing professional can give you a few tips.
  • Choose a comfortable style of hearing aid - You might like custom-fit devices but can't get used to the feeling of having a large piece of plastic in your ears. Discomfort tempts you to adjust the hearing aid with your finger or wiggle your jaw, trying to find a comfortable fit. This agitation can loosen the device and ultimately compromise the fit.
  • It might be time to consider an open fit hearing aid rather than a custom one. Open-fit hearing aids have a long tip that fits the ear canal. The rest of the device hides behind the ear - from certain angles, they're less visible than custom-fit pieces.
  • Have Proper Insurance Coverage – Just in case! – With hearing aid insurance coverage from ESCO you can be confident that we have you covered in case of loss or accidental damage beyond repair of your hearing aids.

ESCO’s Loss, damage and repair insurance is the best option for individuals who have had their manufacturer warranty expire, or have previously lost a device while under warranty and no longer have the replacement option.

Visit ESCO coverage options:

Is it Time to Upgrade your Hearing Aids?

By Tenisha Hollie on October 2, 2019

Having worked with such a vast variety of hearing aid wears over the past 16+ years, I’ve been asked several great questions by those policy holders. But the one question that keeps coming up: are my aids worth insuring?

Our advice: 

  • Is the newest technology really an improvement over the technology you’re currently wearing?
  • Do your hearing aids buzz or whistle
  • Have you noticed it’s become more difficult to hear speech in noisy situations?
  • Have those tiny batteries become more of a challenge, and you’re ready to look at rechargeable hearing aids?
  • Are you interested in wearing a less noticeable “invisible” hearing aid?

If yes to any of the above, ESCO encourages you to visit your hearing care professional for a thorough cleaning and program check of your current hearing aids. Your audiologist or hearing dispenser will be your best adviser when it comes to weighing the pros and cons of your lifestyle and current devices.

However, if your aids are less than 5 years old and you’re not ready for a costly upgrade, we highly encourage you to estimate the cost of loss and damage coverage. Especially since 12 months of ESCO loss, damage, and repair insurance premiums can be billed at a low monthly cost. Coverage options vary by the manufacturer, technology level, and style, but a quote for coverage is as easy as 1…2…3... Just visit:

Still undecided or have specific questions? Call us toll free: 1-855-862-9296

When is it Time for Hearing Aid Loss Insurance Coverage?

By Patrick Miller on September 18, 2019

When you were first fit with hearing aids, your provider looked carefully at your loss levels, lifestyle, and budget to determine what devices were best for you. By evaluating your lifestyle, whether you were retired, working ten hours a day in a quiet office, or a full-time gardener, all these factors were considered in the initial decision.

Your provider's diagnosis included looking at the life cycle and estimated longevity of the hearing aid technology available at the time. Now that your aids have reached the end of the original manufacturer warranty (typically three years), it’s time to reevaluate your life circumstances once again.

While hearing aid brands introduce new technology on a two-year basis, those updates can be incremental changes. The real jump in innovation tends to happen every four to five years. For reference, most hearing aids in the marketplace today are fully capable, and will remain relevant, for five or more years. Industry data (MarkeTrack*) shows most patients wear their hearing aids an average of 5.4 years.

Where is the life cycle of your current hearing aids?

  • Are the tiny batteries becoming an issue? Maybe the time has come to upgrade to rechargeable devices?
  • Has the noise of social settings become more of an issue and you’re in need of improved background noise suppression?
  • Do your current hearing aids work correctly, and you want to get a little more life from them?

If you decide your current aids check out and have more life in them, recognize there may no longer be an active warranty on them, going those 2+ years without loss and damage coverage of some sort is a gamble.

Which is where ESCO can help; we have partnered with audiologists and dispensers for over 30 years to protect folks just like you. Coverage options vary by the manufacturer, technology level, and style so during your next visit ask your provider to help you determine, is the small investment in a 12-month loss coverage plan worth the tremendous peace of mind?

Ready to learn more?

For additional information about ESCO hearing aid loss insurance visit: ESCO coverage options

Unsure when your current warranty ends? Your original purchase agreement will have the expiration date. Or call your provider, they will have that data easily accessible. If the date is approaching soon, work with your provider to take a closer look at your lifestyle changes and the condition of your current devices. Decide together, is it time to replace your aids or invest in insurance coverage?

*Marketrak data