HearUSA Inc., a provider of hearing care for the nation’s managed health care companies, is announcing a number of the health insurance companies with which it contracts will be expanding or reinstating hearing benefits for members.

Preferred Care Partners, BCBS Horizon Medicare Blue and BCBS Medicare Blue HMO will offer enhanced hearing care coverage in their Medicare plans next year. And Humana, one of the nation’s largest health insurance companies, will reinstate hearing benefits for its HMO beneficiaries in Florida.

The new contracts will bring hearing care benefits to an additional 400,000 patients in HearUSA’s major markets, Florida and New Jersey. These additional beneficiaries will bring the total number of patients eligible to receive the company’s products and services to 2 million.

A study from the National Council on Aging reveals the detrimental impact of hearing impairment on independence and quality of life. The nonprofit Better Hearing Institute reports approximately 10 percent of Americans, some 36 million, experience some degree of hearing impairment. Nearly one in seven baby boomers has sustained some loss, and among those over 65, the number is approaches one in three. More males than females suffer from the condition, which is most often caused by exposure to high-decibel sounds.