What Is The Hearing Aid Cost Breakdown
So weve discussed why hearing aids are more expensive, but there are still more questions to be asked. Lets see what this money is going towards.
In 2016, a human interest group known as The American Association of Retired Persons performed a comprehensive breakdown of the costs behind a $4,400 pair of hearing aids, which it calculated to be the average price. It should be stressed that these numbers are mostly averages.
The first bit of research was done to calculate the costs of the manufacturing. These costs are the essential bare minimum needed to produce the hearing aid:
- Research into creating the best product: $1,320
- Materials needed for construction: $440
This means it costs a retailer $1,760 to buy a pair of hearing aids from the manufacturer.
After that, the AARP then looked further into the costs of the retailer, AKA your hearing specialist:
Information updated September 2020
While it may sound as though youre being swindled by such a high price on such a small device, after looking at the numbers, you can see that only slightly more than 10% of your payment is going towards actual profit toward your hearing specialist
10% markup is on the very low end of the average markup spectrum, especially in the healthcare industry, where markups are commonly known to reach 1,000%. Need we mention the infamous case of the daraprim markup, where the price of a pill was raised by over 5,000% after the manufacturing company went through an acquisition?
How We Research And Review Hearing Aids
Our Reviews Team tests the waterproof claims of various hearing aids
We only recommend hearing devices that we think will have a positive impact for our readers, so we began our testing process by reviewing hearing aid research. We also consulted with audiologists and geriatric care experts to better understand the research, the needs of people with hearing loss, and the hearing aid brands and models on the market. We read thousands of reviews on trusted third-party sites such as Better Business Bureau and Trustpilot to understand customers experiences and where they think hearing aids are falling short. Next, we conducted a survey to discover what people love about their hearing aids, what features they use, and what their biggest challenges are. We focused on brands that:
- Are widely available
Ask About Payment Or Membership Plans
Many hearing aid companies offer financing through third-party lenders. CareCredit also offers financing for hearing aids and other hearing loss treatments.
Audicus offers a hearing aid membership plan if you want to try hearing aids without purchasing them. For $89$159 per month, you can use the hearing aids as long as youd like. If they dont suit your needs, you can simply return them and end your membership.
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How To Get Started And Where To Buy
If you think you may have some hearing loss, but arent sure, you can use the Widex websites free 5-minute hearing test to help determine if you should reach out to a hearing care provider.
Ready to take the next step and reach out to a hearing specialist? There is also a store locator on the website, so you can find and schedule an in-person meeting with a hearing professional who sells Widex hearing aids.
You can also reach out to your primary care physician for recommendations and referrals of audiologists near you.
Why Invest In High
With the average cost of hearing aids ranging from $1,800 to more than $3,000, it might be tempting to go with the lowest-priced option you can find. And while some low-cost hearing aids are appropriate for mild hearing loss, experts generally recommend investing in a high-quality hearing aid for moderate to profound hearing loss.
Severe to profound hearing loss requires a high-powered hearing aid, which provides the most amplification. This maximizes your ability to hear sound and understand what you are hearing. Many high-quality hearing aids also come with added features that make managing your device easier. Some of the more popular features include:
- Bluetooth capability
- Rechargeable batteries
- Multiple channels to adjust the volume of certain frequencies
If youre ready to invest in a hearing aid, here are some steps to help you find the right fit.
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How Much Do Hearing Aids From Costco Cost
Because they buy in bulk, Costco is able to sell hearing aids at a low or deeply discounted price. You can find multiple hearing aids here that cost around $1,500 for the pair.
Hearing aids at Costco include free services that are typically folded into bundled hearing aid packages. In addition to the in-person services listed above, these include:
- loss and damage coverage with no deductible
- a warranty period, which varies by hearing aid model
Because their costs are already low, Costco doesnt offer payment plans for hearing aids. Youll be required to pay the full cost of your hearing aids upfront.
Does The Number Of Features Affect The Price Of Hearing Aids
Another factor that can affect the price of a hearing aid is the features it offers. Some hearing aids come with additional features, such as noise reduction and feedback reduction technologies, directional microphones, and Bluetooth connectivity. These features can add to the overall cost of the hearing aid.
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Getting The Best Value For Money For Your Hearing Aids
This is about more than just the costs it’s about customer service as well. An audiologist who offers you great follow-up care may be the difference between you enjoying a new lease of life and your hearing aids sitting unused in a drawer.
Do check that you’re being offered the manufacturer’s latest range, but don’t assume you need to pay more for it. If you’re mostly at home, you may not benefit from a top-spec hearing aid with many channels, whereas if you socialise a lot and work in a range of environments, this might be just what you need.
Warranties And Return Policies
Today, hearing aids come with money-back return policies. When a patient is unhappy with their hearing aid, they can return it for all or part of the cost of the aid. Since these hearing aids cannot be resold to others, the cost of the returned hearing aid has to be absorbed by the provider and the manufactureradding to the high price of all hearing aids.
Yes, hearing aids can be expensive. Thats why at TruHearing we work directly with manufacturers, heath insurance companies, and providers to negotiate special rates and bring the cost of hearing aids down for you. If you think hearing aids are too expensive, contact us today and we may be able to help you bring that cost down.
Austin Singleton, Au.D.
How We Help
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Standard Technology Hearing Aid Prices
Standard Technology will cover the most basic requirements for listening needs. The technology in this level of hearing aid will suit people who have a quiet lifestyle and therefore provide good sound quality for indoor listening.
This means conversations in quiet with a few people, television programs and other audio will be clear for you. Features will include basic noise suppression, feedback management, wireless streaming and some will also have recharging capabilities. The range of channels and frequency bands for your Audiologist/Audiometrist to adjust will be reduced. You will also have fewer programs available in your hearing aids for your personal listening requirements.
A hearing aid in the Standard technology tier will be priced from $2000.
Some Of The Top Advanced Technology Hearing Aids Are:
At Hearing Choices we aim to provide up-to-date and relevant information about hearing aid prices, including whether more expensive means better, the different fits available, and looking more in-depth at the technological tier system.
In the end, if you still have any questions, you can contact our professional team through live chat, telephone or email!
How Much Are Jabra Enhance Hearing Aids
Jabra Enhance hearing aids are much more affordable than similar, custom, prescription hearing aids. The cheapest pair of rechargeable ones cost $1,595, while the lower-cost battery-powered hearing aids cost $1,195. The Enhance Select 200 is the most expensive of the three, going for $1,995.
All three hearing aid models have a financing option as well.
Jabra Enhance claims that, because the company doesnt have brick-and-mortar locations and conducts all business online, it can cut costs and save the customer money.
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What Is An Over
This question is trickier to answer than it should be. As the name suggests, over-the-counter hearing aids generally encompass hearing aids that are sold directly via manufacturer and health-care websites and can be set up, tuned, and adjusted by the wearer . They are designed for adults with mild to moderate hearing loss.
You can read about the complex legislative journey of over-the-counter hearing aids in this article. As we explain there, a lot of devices previously sold and marketed as hearing aids weren’t legally permitted to call themselves hearing aids. These other devices, such as PSAPs or hearables, are less sophisticated hearing-augmentation optionsthey have less precise tuning abilities, and the amount of gain is limited by law. Companies that have such products already for sale have until early 2023 to adjust their marketing language or update their devices to meet the law. Any new devices released must meet the FDA guidelines to be called hearing aids.
We expect to see some terminology and product name shifts in the next few months, and we will update this guide as they take effect.
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Traditional hearing aids can be expensive and inconvenient. But lower-priced, over-the-counter hearing aids are coming soon.
Are Costco Hearing Aids Good
Big-box warehouse store Costco sells different types of hearing aids under its Kirkland Signature label and other brands. If you are a Costco member, you can have a free hearing test at a Costco Hearing Aid Center.
As a discount warehouse, Costco offers competitive prices. Hearing Aid Center staff members dont work on commissions, which avoids a high-pressure selling environment.
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Do Hearing Aids Use Special Batteries
Yes, hearing aids use a specific type of battery. Rechargeable hearing aids come with rechargeable batteries, which are most often lithium-ion batteries. All other hearing aids require the purchase of disposable zinc-air batteries. Zinc-air disposable batteries come in four sizes and work with many types of hearing aids.
The Average Cost Of Hearing Aids
The average cost of one hearing aid is approximately $2,000, and most people need one for each ear, says Dave Fabry, Ph.D., chief innovation officer at Starkey, a leading hearing aid manufacturer.
Audiologists usually buy hearing aids from manufacturers at wholesale prices and then set their own prices. Depending on the technology used in the hearing aids, be prepared to shell out $4,000 to $8,000 for a pair.
That fee can sound like a lot, but when you consider what factors into the price tag, it might not seem like such a bad deal.
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Best If Youre New To Hearing Aids: Jabra Enhance Select 100 / Jabra Enhance Select 200
Who its for: First-time hearing-aid users and people who want some earbud-like functionality.
Why its great: If youve never used a hearing aid before and want a device thats relatively affordable and packed with useful features, the Jabra Enhance Select 100 and Jabra Enhance Select 200 are both excellent choices. Our panelists loved how easy these sets of hearing aids were to set up, customize, and use. The situational sound modes were actually helpful for reducing background noise while amplifying conversation . The traditional, behind-the-ear design stays in place comfortably and is especially water resistant and dust resistant, with an IP68 rating. Both the 100 and the 200 can play back sound from devices like smartphones and tablets via Bluetooth, but only the 200 has the ability to transmit your voice for full headset-style capabilities. Jabra’s generous 100-day return policy gives you ample time to acclimate to your hearing-aid pair and to determine whether its a good match. In addition, with a three-year warranty and three years of included follow-up care, these hearing aids can adjust to meet your needs for a good long while. This combination of lower pricing, excellent extended customer service, and a long trial period makes a Jabra Enhance Select 100 or Jabra Enhance Select 200 pair an ideal place to start if youve never used hearing aids before.
Check For Local Hearing Aid Discounts
HearingTracker hosts a platform for audiologists to post Local Hearing Aid Discounts. This is a great place to start if youre trying to get your bearings. Youll see a selection of discounted hearing aids available in your area, how much they cost, and whats included.
This advertising platform also allows HearingTracker to track hearing aid prices. You can review the average price for each hearing aid on our hearing aid price tracker. Though keep in mind that local factors, such as higher commercial rents or wages in urban areas, will impact the price of hearing aids. More experienced audiologists, or those that provide clinical best practices, may also charge moreand rightfully so!
What Are The Best Hearing Aids For Seniors
Ultimately, the best hearing aid for older adults is the one that fits their degree of hearing loss, user preferences, lifestyle and budget. Purchasing a hearing aid is a highly individualized choice, which is why its so important to work with a hearing health professional to determine the most appropriate device for you.
Hearing Aid Purchase Trends
We asked our followers how many hearing aids they purchased , what brand and model of hearing aids they purchased, what level of technology they purchased, and what features their hearing aids came with. Thebulk majority purchased a pair of hearing aids. This finding lines up closely with historical trends of binaural fittings, as reported by hearing professionals.
Technology level purchased
The concept of technology levels will be new for many readers. Generally speaking, hearing aids come in a variety of technology levels, with higher technology levels representing the cutting edge of what each hearing aid manufacturer has to offer in terms of features and functionality. As you might expect, higher technology levels come at a higher price point.
We asked our followers which level of technology they purchased . The majority reported purchasing top-end hearing aids, about a third reported purchasing mid-range, and less than four percent reported purchasing low-end.
Note: Some hearing aids come in more than three technology levels. The data below should be considered a very rough approximation of the buying trend.
Brand of hearing aid purchased
The results of our survey show that Phonak is the most popular hearing aid brand , followed by Oticon, ReSound, Widex, and Starkey. Kirkland Signature came in just below the major brands.
Brand purchased vs U.S. market share
Signia is the new Siemens
|$2,336 per device|
Price by place of purchase
The Costco Effect
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Will Costco Take Insurance
Costco doesnt accept insurance for hearing aids. Hearing aids arent usually covered by health insurance plans, including original Medicare.
If you have an insurance plan that covers hearing aids, you can still shop at Costco. Youll have to submit an invoice to your insurer for reimbursement, after payment.
Buying A Hearing Aid Online
The ability to buy hearing aids online eliminates some of the barriers that can prevent people from seeking care for their hearing loss. But its important to know that buying online isnt for everyone.
In some cases, hearing loss may be caused by a medical problem such as diabetes, osteoporosis, or meningitis, and that can only be detected in a consultation with a medical doctor and an audiologist. Buying hearing aids without that intervention may let an underlying medical problem persist.
Its also important to keep in mind that getting the right hearing aid for your needs depends on your specific type and severity of hearing loss. Hearing aids bought through an audiologist are programmed individually for each person according to the results of their audiogram . Many online hearing aid companies have an audiologist who will interpret audiograms and program hearing aids, but others dont.
Some of the less expensive devices may not have the detailed programming options necessary for many types of hearing loss. These devices are considered personal sound amplification products , not a true hearing aid. That means they make everything louder, but the devices arent able to target the specific frequencies where hearing loss has occurred or filter out background noise.
If you arent sure what type of hearing aid you need, speak with an audiologist or hearing aid specialist who can provide guidance.
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The Difference Between Hearing Aid Technology Levels
All major hearing aid brands sell devices at varying technology levels. Think of this as buying a Honda Civic and opting for leather seats. Heres an example:
Widex Moment Sheer is the latest product from the brand
Before you buy the Widex Moment Sheer hearing aids youll need to pick a technology level. All levels come with the same major features like rechargeable batteries and Bluetooth, but the most expensive versions give you better sound quality, background noise reduction, and wind control.
You can expect to pay $1,500 more for the top model than the bottom.