Bundled Vs Unbundled Services
Your prescription hearing aid purchase typically includes the hearing test, consultation, initial fitting, and all follow-up adjustments, routine cleanings and a warranty that can range from one to three years. This is known as bundled pricing.Hearing aid warranties often cover all repairs and includes a one-time replacement policy if you lose a hearing aid. Some hearing care professionals also include a supply of hearing aid batteries to get you started.
Hearing aids have gotten smaller whilethe technology has gotten far moreadvanced.
Why is bundling so common? Your hearing ability may change, your hearing aid may need repair and you may have questions occasionally. You are making an investment in the professional as well as the hearing aid technology.
Still, some clinics may “unbundle” the hearing care costs from the cost of the hearing aids. In this pricing structure, you may be able to pick which services you want to purchase upfront, like a loss and damage warranty, and which you want to pay for as you go, like cleaning services for your hearing aids. For people who buy OTC hearing aids, they may benefit from finding a provider who offers these a la carte services.
Either way, be sure to ask your hearing care professional what is included in the price of the hearing aids so you fully understand what you are purchasing.
Why Should You Visit A Hearing Care Professional
Fitting a hearing aid is not just as simple as taking your test and putting it into the hearing device. I wish it were. Our brains are very much involved in this process and no two brains are alike.
You can take two people with the same hearing loss and their sound preferences will be wildly different. Their challenges with hearing will be different and their listening lifestyles will be vastly different. This is where your hearing care professionals expertise and experience will come into play. They will know the right questions to ask to know where you are in the process of adapting to your new hearing device and where to set them to start, because its an ongoing process.
The settings you start with are not the settings you end with. You will gradually get used to the hearing aid and get used to hearing all sounds again and want more volume along the way.
We do this during your 45-day trial period. So, as you can see, its not a one-size-fits-all approach.
So, lets get back to that original question why do hearing aids cost so much?
Well, the cost of the hearing aids alone would be the same pretty much no matter where you went.
However, when you see a hearing care professional to be fit, your experience will be significantly improved and the cost of their expertise is added into the cost of the devices.
So let me explain what I mean.
Is Financing Available For Hearing Aids
Financing is available for hearing aids through select hearing centers and online distributors. Most licensed hearing specialists and centers offer some type of financing to help with the cost or offer payment plans that allow you to spread the costs over several months. But make sure to research the financing company before you sign on the dotted line.
Read Also: Are There Symptoms Of Hiv
Escalation Of Hearing Aid Prices: Why Are There No Low
While the price itself seems exorbitant, the continuous pace of growth is even worse. In the last decade, the price of an average Behind-the-Ear hearing aid has more than doubled.
Even today, price points continue to trend up. Low-cost hearing aids are rarely offered by the main hearing aid models offered in most in-person audiology clinics.
While you might be thinking the features and technology advancements justify the costs the math doesnt add up.
Most major manufacturers have shifted their production to low-cost China , which only drives business costs down. Unfortunately, manufacturers have not passed their savings back to the consumer.
Since most hearing aids today are made up of digital signal processors, we would expect costs to have dropped over time. Digital technology, in theory, should reduce production costs in the same way that it has for most consumer electronics.
For a while, increasing amounts of R& D spending shifted towards developing sophisticated signal processing software capable of tackling anything from complex speech recognition situations to effective noise cancellation. These features have now become standard too. Components cost at most $50 to $150 per device but can go as low as a few dollars.
As technology advances and goods cost less and less to make, it only makes sense for technology to become more affordable to the average consumer.
The reason for this is hearing aids are commoditized.
Alternative Hearing Aid Shopping
With the increased popularity of online shopping, especially during the Covid 19 pandemic, many online resellers have flooded the market with cheap hearing aid imports. These products are not always reliable and may not come with service warranties that mainstream, reputable brands include. Its a case of buyer beware and may end up more costly in the long run if you are not getting the results you want.
Some companies sell direct to the consumer and may offer online hearing tests and consultation to assist in your decision and programming. Costs may be lower initially, yet the product might not be reliable and required maintenance falls to the buyer.
Over-the-counter hearing aids are not yet available in Canada. A prescription from a licensed hearing health professional is currently required.
Also Check: How Hiv Starts In The Body
Why Do Hearing Aids Cost So Much
Numerous factors contribute to the high cost of hearing aids, including:
- Constant research and development for product and technology innovation
- The bundled services model, which makes the cost of the devices themselves appear inflated
- High markups on hearing aid products from the manufacturers themselves
Making The Best Hearing Aids More Affordable
With the costs of many hearing aids being over £1,000, its understandable you may be put off. Its likely you have concerns about the affordability, and dont want to have to dip into your savings for better hearing.
As such, The Hearing Specialist offers easy financing plans to make the best hearing technology more accessible.
We ask for a 30% deposit on all single hearing aids, after which youll follow a 12-month payment plan, breaking up the cost into smaller chunks. Best of all, we offer interest free credit on all hearing aids, keeping your costs as low as possible.
Want to find out more about our hearing aid range, or need more information about our finance plans? Call The Hearing Specialist on or send an email to .
We offer mobile audiology services across Wimbledon, Banstead, Croydon and Sutton, making safe, COVID-secure home visits for hearing tests, hearing aid fittings, and ear wax removal.
Also Check: What Percentage Of Men Have Hiv
How Much Do Hearing Aids Cost & What Makes Them So Expensive
You can’t put a price on your hearing can you? Hearing loss affects millions of Americans, and no one is immune. One in eight people over 12 years old in the US have hearing loss in both ears, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
However, of those suffering from hearing loss who could benefit from the use of hearing aids, only 30% of those 70 and older have ever used hearing aids. The percentage is even lower for adults between 20 and 69 only 16% of those in this age bracket with hearing loss have tried hearing aids.
Sadly, one of the primary reasons why those who could benefit from hearing aids are not using them is due to cost. So, you may be asking yourself why are hearing aids so expensive?
Average cost of hearing aids
While the cost of hearing aids varies greatly, if you’re considering one, you’ve probably already wondered: how much do hearing aids cost? A report from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology found the average price of a single hearing aid is $2,300 or more. Since most people with hearing loss will have hearing loss in both ears and purchase as a pair, it’s no wonder that many people spend $5,000 or more on their hearing aids.
As you can imagine, this is a price point that’s out of reach for many of those with hearing loss especially when the vast majority of health insurance plans, as well as Medicare, do not provide coverage for hearing aids or the services surrounding them.
Where Can I Get Hearing Aids
While the FDA in the United States allows for the sale of over-the-counter hearing aids, the same is not true in Canada, where you will require a prescription from a hearing expert. While the devices sold in the U.S. can be less expensive, they are more generic and short-term, limited in their customizability features, and donât come with the same clinical services.
Don’t Miss: How Did Aids Start In The First Place
How Much Will Otc Hearing Aids Cost
The average price for a pair of prescription hearing aids is $4,600, but OTC hearing aids will hopefully cost much less.10 The federal government estimates Americans could save up to $3,000 on hearing aids by choosing OTC brands rather than prescription devices.11 If thats the case, the average cost for a pair of OTC hearing aids would be around $1,600.
Some OTC hearing aids may even be priced well below that amount. Barbara Kelley, the executive director of the Hearing Loss Association of America, believes OTC hearing aids may cost $300$500 per ear.12
With the FDA opening up the OTC hearing aid market to more manufacturers, the cost of hearing aids may come down even further. Lower prices for hearing aids could encourage millions of people to get the help they need for hearing loss. The NIDCD states about 37.5 million Americans are affected by disabling hearing loss, but only 16% use hearing aids.13
Our survey of 600 hearing aid users found cost was at the forefront of respondents buying decisions. Price ranked as the second-most important factor when customers were deciding which hearing aid to buy, right behind ease of use.
Otc Hearing Aids: Bottom Line
OTC hearing aids are limited in the level of personalized care provided, compared to prescription hearing aids, and they cant treat all levels of hearing loss or hearing-related medical conditions since they are only approved for mild to moderate hearing loss.
But the lower prices and easier buying process offered by OTC hearing aid manufacturers is a big step forward in allowing more Americans the opportunity to get the help they need.
Read Also: Best Sleep Aids For Adults
A Couple Cups Of Coffee
It is recommended that you work closely with your hearing care practitioner to see what your needs and expectations are and to see what options will work best for you.
As I mentioned at the beginning, hearing aids arent cheap, but theyre often not as expensive as most people think.
If you look at how long you use them for, what the cost is, and that theyre worn daily during all of your waking hours, the cost breaks down to only about $5 to $10.
Thats the equivalent to a couple cups of coffee down at Starbucks!
I dont know about you, but I think being able to hear well and enjoy your life to the fullest is worth $5 to $10 a day, and we think youre worth it.
Warranty And Trial Period
Every pair of hearing aids should come with a risk-free trial period and warranty. The more generous these policiesespecially the warrantythe more youre likely to pay upfront. However, a generous trial period and warranty can help save you money over time.
The best warranties cover both defects and loss and damage. Ask about whats covered, what isnt, and whether theres a deductible. You may choose to pay for an additional warranty to extend coverage, which costs more money right away but protects you over time.
Don’t Miss: How Long Does Hiv Take To Turn Into Aids
Physical Clinic Location Costs
Several factors go into hearing aid pricing if you deal with a physical clinic location. You have the actual device cost that many clinics will advertise. However, additional fees associated with the services provided by the hearing centre or audiologist are added on top. Clinics will charge a higher sticker price through cost bundling that involves paying one price for all the services, including the cost of the hearing aids.
Depending on the location, you may be able to pay-as-you-go for add-ons, but the benefits of taking the package might be worthwhile as they often cover replacement, repair, and batteries for as long as you have the devices.
Reasons People Dont Buy Hearing Aids
Many adults have trouble understanding conversations, watching television, and hearing certain sounds. Chances are that most may see a drastic improvement in all aspects of their life by wearing hearing aids. Unfortunately, 67-86% of adults with hearing loss dont use hearing aids. There are many reasons why people dont wear hearing aids:
- High cost of hearing technology
- Stigma of looking old or disabled
- Questionable level of comfort
- Appearance of hearing aids
- Self-perceived lack of benefits
Cost is one of the biggest barriers to using hearing aids. Unlike eyeglasseswhich can range from a few dollars at a drugstore to a few hundred dollars at a medical officea pair of FDA-registered hearing aids cost $4,600 on average, and can go as high as $8,000. This is asking to comparing apples to oranges but the question still remains:
Why are hearing aids so expensive?
Recommended Reading: Can Someone Have Hiv Without Symptoms
Consider Financing For Upfront Savings
You might be wondering if there is financing for hearing aids. The answer depends on where you shop. Most in-person hearing clinics and online hearing aid companies provide financing, but Costco does not. If youd prefer to pay a monthly amount by using hearing aid financing, a hearing clinic or online direct-to-consumer brand like Jabra Enhance or Eargo are excellent routes.
Dont Choose the Most Advanced Hearing Aids When we interviewed Tyler Bennett, a registered hearing aid dispenser with Hear4U and Hearing Aid Accessories, he recommended opting for less advanced models over premium hearing aids if you want to save money.
You should decide how much functionality you wish for your hearing aids to have. Do you need them to have phone connectivity, or would you prefer a lower-tech model that simply enhances your hearing? Decisions like these will have a huge effect.
The simpler the hearing aid, the less its going to cost. So, if you need help with your hearing but dont want to spend too much money, choose a hearing aid device with fewer features. You dont necessarily need the newest hearing aid with cutting-edge features.
The First Place To Start
If you or a loved one is considering hearing aids, but feel conflicted with all of the different messages online, the best first step is to schedule a comprehensive hearing assessment with a professional audiologist.
This way, you can find out the exact status of your hearing health to help you determine your best next steps. The decision is up to you we are just here to guide you to a healthier, happier life.
So, if you have any additional questions youd like us to address, visit our resource page here, or find us on , , or
Alternatively, click here to request a callback and well get back to you as soon as possible.
Thanks, and have a great day!
Do you know somebody that needs to see this? Why not share it?
Recommended Reading: Is Hiv Easy To Get
Why Are Hearing Aids So Costly
Hearing aids have a bad reputation for being costly. This can lead to frustration and avoidance from consumers looking to receive help for their hearing. This blog post will not help make hearing aids more affordable, but should help shed some light on these expenses. So why are hearing aids so costly?
Get The Full Warranty
Ensure you get the full warranty for your hearing devices or look around for a better deal.
The standard set by hearing aid manufacturers is typically three years. This may not always be passed on to you or it may have negotiated down when deals are being brokered between hearing aid clinics and hearing aid manufacturers.
One year warranty equals about $150 per aid in value.
Some companies also offer a quantity of batteries, consumables or hearing device drying kits. Take all of this into consideration when you decide how client-focussed the hearing aid clinic is and when comparing prices.
Don’t Miss: Can You Live With Hiv
Manageable Hearing Aid Prices: Where Are The More Low
Manufacturers have spent substantial R& D resources making the devices smaller, more powerful, and packed with myriads of new features: Bluetooth, wireless integration, remote controls, 20+ channels.
The improvements in alleviating hearing loss are marginal for most people. This is because there is no notable perceived benefit beyond 4-5 channels.
Many argue that devices nowadays are over-engineered for the average user with mild or moderate hearing loss. Over-engineering gives manufacturers an excuse to charge higher prices by introducing newer and better models. This is in large part why so many consumers feel the costs of hearing aids today are a rip-off.
Think about it this way: if you need to get from A to B, a Rolls Royce would definitely make the ride more enjoyable than a Honda. On the other hand, the Honda will get you from A to B just as well in a safe and comfortable manner.
It seems that when it comes to hearing aids you dont have the choice to opt for the Honda: you are forced to buy the Rolls Royce.
The most important factor for the current hearing aid price levels has to do with the underlying industry structure. The relationship between manufacturers, audiologists, and end-patients plays a role in the prices we see.
Have you ever wondered how a few components costing at most $100, assembled in China, suddenly turn into a $2,500 hearing aid?