Pros And Cons Of Buying Hearing Aids At Costco
Overall, Costco is a great place to order hearing aids. Members will find access to great prices, free services and a variety of hearing aid brands/models. Of course, a membership is required to take advantage of these perks.
Based on my research, below are the biggest pros and cons I found from buying hearing aids at Costco.
Where To Buy Over The Counter Hearing Aids
OTC hearing aids are already available online from manufacturers such as Eargo, Lively, Audicus, and MDHearing. They will also be sold in stores as soon as mid-October, according to the FDA press release.
OTC hearing aids will likely be available from retailers such as Walgreens, CVS, Best Buy, and other stores that carry health care devices.
Kirkland Signature 100 With Tcoil
- Features: stereo quality sound, Bluetooth compatible, tap control, motion sensor hearing, automatic setting adjustment through the Easy Line remote app
- Style of fit: behind the ear
- Battery life: rechargeable
These affordably priced hearing aids are sold through Costco Wholesale warehouse stores. To purchase Kirkland hearing aids, you must be a Costco member by paying Costcos annual membership fee.
These hearing aids automatically adjust their settings to your environment, with no manual adjusting. They produce rich, stereo-quality sound. Theyre designed to optimize speech in challenging environments, including noisy rooms.
Theyre rechargeable but dont use inductive charging, which may make them more challenging to handle if you have hand dexterity or strength issues.
Theyre Bluetooth compatible with iPhone and Android. Double tapping your hearing aids lets you pause or stream media directly from your smart device. You can also tap your hearing aids to answer or hang up on phone calls.
These hearing aids are telecoil enabled. You can use them with many landline telephones and in public places that use loop systems or hearing-assisted technologies, such as airports and stadiums.
They come in five colors, are water resistant, and dust-tight.
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What Is The Price Of A Hearing Aid
Hearing aid prices can vary dramatically depending on the manufacturer of the aid, the model you choose, the additional technology features you select and the audiologist from whom you purchase them. Most hearing aids are priced individually, so if you have hearing loss in both ears, remember to double the prices you see listed by hearing aid retailers. Taking top manufacturers and models into consideration, starting prices for a pair of hearing aids in 2022 ranged from about $1,400 to over $5,000.
Resources For Financial Support
The majority of insurance providers in the United States do not cover hearing aids. There are, however, several options for financial aid available for those who qualify. Ive included some links that might help in your research below.
VA Health Benefits
If you are a veteran, you can sign up for VA health benefits and access hearing aids through that program. More info and directions on how to sign up here.
Local Non-Profit Organizations and Government Support
There are many local organizations around the United States that can provide financial support for hearing aids. These range from hearing providers to local Lions Clubs and nonprofits. The Hearing Aid Project has a great resource for finding these programs here. The Hearing Aid Project also accepts hearing aid donations.
The Hearing Loss Association of America has a list of published resources along with a PDF guide here.
Financing Directly Through a Hearing Aid Provider
Its worth noting that several hearing providers, including Audicus, Lively, Eargo and Lexie, offer payment plans to spread out the cost of your hearing aids. You might also be able to work out a payment plan with a local audiologist.
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How We Chose The Best Hearing Aids
Our team read hundreds of online reviews, compared product specs and features, and consulted hearing aid experts to develop a list of hearing aids that covers a range of device types, feature and technology levels, and costs.
We only included brands and devices that fulfilled our strict requirements and excluded many brands because of high costs, lack of access to professional care, and/or lack of sufficient product offerings. The main criteria we looked for when selecting the ten best hearing aid brands are:
- Availability of modern features such as rechargeable batteries and Bluetooth connectivity
- Access to care from a licensed hearing professional, either in person or remotely
- Custom tuning for wearers based on their individual hearing profile
- FDA-registered devices
- Reasonable costs and high value for wearers
Caring.com Hearing Aid Safety Scores
To provide the best, most reliable information to our readers, Caring.com partnered with a team of two audiologists who together have decades of experience in the hearing aid industry. Each safety score is the expert opinion of the audiologists, based on independently-conducted research, and scored using a ranking system of 11 metrics across three categories. For more information about how this ranking was developed, view our methodology section below.
Otc Hearing Aids Vs Prescription Hearing Aids
Both OTC and prescription hearing aids are regulated as medical devices by the FDA.8 But while OTC hearing aids can be purchased directly from the companies that make them, prescription hearing aids require hearing exams and usually cost more.
Mandatory hearing exams and fittings
As their name suggests, prescription hearing aids require both a medical exam and a prescription written by an audiologist or other hearing professional. You can learn about the features of certain prescription hearing aids on the manufacturers websites, but youll need to go to a hearing clinic for an exam and prescription to buy them.
Many prescription hearing aids also require fitting by a hearing professional. OTC hearing aids dont, so they usually come with a variety of domes and tips that you can switch out to find the ones that are the most comfortable and give you the best listening experience.
Prescription hearing aids tend to be more expensive than OTC hearing aids, since they are typically sold as part of a package that includes ongoing maintenance and adjustments by a hearing professional. Not everyone can afford to pay for those extra services.
In contrast, OTC hearing aids tend to be less expensive, since you dont need an in-person hearing exam and because the hearing aids themselves are sold as a standalone product .
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What To Consider Before Buying A Hearing Aid
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders reports that 37.5 million American adults have some level of hearing loss.10 While hearing loss can occur at any time in life, the problem becomes more common with age.
The NIDCD estimates almost one in four adults between the ages of 65 and 74 and half of people older than 75 have disabling hearing loss. It may come as a surprise that only one in three adults who could benefit from hearing aids has ever used them. As mentioned above, people with hearing loss tend to wait an average of 10 years before seeking treatment, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.11
There are many reasons that may prevent those with hearing loss from seeking help. The following are some of the more common:
- The cost of hearing aids and hearing care
- The fact that insurance companies and Medicare do not cover hearing aids
- The distance from hearing care providers
- The stigma associated with wearing a hearing aid12
We asked Michelle Brady, an audiologist with Access Audiology, a mobile audiology service in the New York City area, what shed like people to know about the purchasing process. According to Brady, the most important thing to consider when shopping for a hearing aid is time.
Hearing Aids Online Vs Hearing Aids From A Physical Retailer
Hearing aids are available for purchase online at reduced prices, making them an attractive option for many people. However, these devices dont offer any customization to ensure that the instrument meets your personal listening needs.
Getting hearing aids takes more than making a simple purchase. It requires exams, evaluations, device adjustments, and more.
Big-box retailers may offer store-brand hearing aids that may be better than the stock variety online, so youll likely pay a little more. However, you can only program them at that store, making it difficult, if not impossible, to have the devices adjusted at a clinic if you relocate or travel.
Because of the need for customization, it may be best to purchase hearing aids from a reputable hearing clinic or ENT physicians office.
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How Do I Know If I Need A Hearing Aid
You need to determine if your hearing loss has an impact on your day-to-day life. You may be hearing less than you used to. This can impact your decision if you have difficulty communicating or keeping up with your normal lifestyle. An audiologist will test your hearing and discuss with you the best options for you.
Do Small Hearing Aids Work
All hearing aids work to some degree. The style, size, and features determine how well they work for each type of hearing loss. Small hearing aids include larger styles, like in-the-ear , and nearly invisible styles, like in-the-canal and completely-in-the-canal . These types of devices are more appropriate for mild to moderate hearing loss, with a select few appropriate for severe hearing loss.
The advantage of small hearing aids is the almost invisible appearance they provide. Many people can wear these devices without anyone knowing they have hearing aids, which can help those who experience stigma surrounding hearing aids. Research shows that many people, especially older adults, associate hearing loss and hearing aids with stigma related to perceived feelings of lower cognitive ability, ageism , and vanity . And that stigma was enough to delay people from seeking help for their hearing loss. For those who experience similar stigma, small hearing aids may help. Small hearing aids are also lightweight and often provide a more natural sound quality beca they are placed deep into the ear canal.
That being said, because they go in your ear, they may not be a good fit for everyones ear canal. Thats why its a good idea to go to a professional to get fitted for a hearing aid. Small hearing aids may also require more battery changes since they can only hold a small battery, and the compact size may result in fewer features.
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Health Care Spending Account
Though most, if not all, private insurance plans dont include hearing aid coverage due to its high cost, you can use supplemental insurance products with a Health Care Spending Account to pay for the device if youre an independent contractor, self-employed, own a business, or your employer offers group benefits.
An HCSA offers flexibility contrary to the rigidness of a traditional health plan. Its purpose is to cover services, medical supplies, and treatments that conventional insurance plans dont cover.
Funds from this account can be used to cover eligible medical expenses, including hearing aids, for out-of-pocket medical expenses. It also covers doctor office copayments, deductibles, prescription drugs, dental procedures, cosmetic surgeries, and more.
Funds used from an HCSA plan allow you to pay for expenses using pre-tax dollars, and they become a business tax deduction for you or your employer too. The tax benefits of HCSAs make them one of the best options to supplement health insurance plans.
Online Hearing Aids Do Your Homework
- Watch out for aggressive marketing, unrealistic promises, short trial periods, and false claims. For example, the FTC issued a warning to one company that falsely advertised a $3,000 refund through a non-existent Covid-19 healthcare stimulus program, if customers purchased one of their hearing aids. The Brattleboro Hearing Center breaks down other common hearing aid scams.
- Dont trust testimonials on the sellers website. Instead, check the companys Better Business Bureau rating and any customer reviews or complaints posted to its BBB listing.
- Read independent reviews. If youre a member of Consumer Reports, review their hearing aid ratings.
- Generally, beware of fake online reviews. These can be hard to spot, but sometimes youll notice dead giveaways, like the exact same wording showing up in multiple reviews or comments posted in quick succession with only few newer comments.
- Is it a new or generic brand? See whether you can find a white-labeled version of the product on sites like Alibaba or AliExpress, online marketplaces stocked by Chinese manufacturers. If you do, notice the price difference thats the scammers margin.
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Final Thoughts On Cheap Hearing Aids
If your hearing device wasnt made to treat your specific hearing loss condition, youll find yourself with the same problem you had in the first place: you wont be able to hear what people are saying!
Whats more, if youre only looking for the cheapest hearing aid possible, youll very likely fall victim to scammers and companies looking to cut corners in terms of product quality and customer support.
At the end of the day, youre better off paying a little bit more for a quality, FDA-registered, affordable hearing aid. Spending just a bit more is a priceless investment that will pay off in better health and quality of life.
Would You Like To Save Money
Remember, buying a hearing aid is a big decision and the process will take time and a lot of consideration. Finding the perfect hearing aid for you comes down to where you are going to use it and what is best going to suit your lifestyle.
As you are aware, hearing aid prices in Canada can be rather high and a big financial investment on your part. Compare rates and save time with Insurdinary. You can make sure you are getting the best out of your insurance at the lowest rates.
Get a quote today and see just how we can help you get paired up with the best prices on the market.
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Does Medicare Cover Hearing Aids
Medicare and most private insurance plans dont cover hearing aids. Some plans, including Medicare Advantage, pay for some costs.
The Veterans Administration covers hearing aids in many cases. And many federal workers, including retirees, may have hearing aid benefits through the Federal Employees Health Benefits program.
Do Hearing Aids Use Special Batteries
Zinc-air batteries are the most common type of hearing aid today. These batteries are made for hearing aids, and come in different sizes so that they can be used with various devices. Hearing aid batteries can be found in almost every store that stocks regular batteries. This includes grocery and pharmacy stores.
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Reduce Hearing Aid Pricing With Extended Healthcare Benefits
After adding on additional expenses like treatments from hearing care professionals, hearing aid testing, and device replacements, the price of hearing aids in Canada can easily exceed $4,000.
Though some provinces offer assistance by way of partial or complete government insurance coverage for hearing instruments, its not enough for many residents. With a Health Care Spending Account, you can supplement your insurance to pay for hearing devices for yourself or your dependents.
To learn more about HCSA options or other insurance products, contact our team at Group Enroll. We can provide you with quotes from Canadas top insurance agencies to help you find the most affordable insurance for your group benefits plan.
Our helpful representatives will explain your insurance options and give you a breakdown of each plans benefits. Just fill out our quick quote form to get started. You can also email us at with any questions.
Costco Hearing Aid Centers
Most hearing aids, including Kirkland Signature 10.0, can be adjusted from the comfort and security of your own home from your smartphone or tablet.
Feel confident meeting with any of our qualified, non-commissioned staff. We offer a no-pressure, safe environment focused solely on your needs and safety.
- Costco value pricing
- Remote services on select hearing aids
- Free product demonstrations
- Free hearing aid cleanings and check-ups
- Free loss and damage coverage
- Free warranty periods
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How To Buy Hearing Aids At Costco
Whether youre considering getting a hearing aid for the first time or youre simply looking for a cheaper alternative, Costco may be worth checking out.
If you think you may need a hearing aid, take a minute to visitCostcos hearing aid FAQ page. There, youll find a quick self-evaluation that can point you in the right direction. Costco also offers free hearing tests for members, so that can be a great place to start.
When it comes to actually buying a hearing aid, its important to talk to a qualified medical professional so that you know youre getting the best fit. For this reason, you cant order hearing aids online from Costco.Instead, youll have to schedule an appointment by calling your nearest Costco Hearing Aid Center.
To find your nearest Costco Hearing Aid Center, you canuse the store locator online. Click Show Filter Options and check the box beside Hearing Aids. Then, you can enter your city, state or ZIP code and click Find.
Once youve found the location youd like to visit, use the phone number provided to schedule an appointment.
If youre scheduling your first visit to a Costco Hearing Aid Center, you can visit the website to print and fill outthis form before your appointment to save time. If youre scheduling a follow-up visit, Costco also provides an online copy of themember journal to fill out beforehand.
Also keep in mind that you have to be a Costco member in order to make appointments, to get your hearing tested or to buy devices.