There’s no getting around it – hearing aid prices are high and most people with hearing loss need two hearing aids. Making matters more difficult is the fact that most insurance providers don’t cover the cost.
The high price is often a barrier to getting the help and relief that hearing aids provide, but it doesn’t have to be. When it comes to cost, there’s a lot to consider: hearing aids are a big investment; these are devices you’ll be wearing most of your waking hours, seven days a week. You don’t want to skimp on a cheap brand that won’t last or last, or meet your unique needs.
How much do hearing aids cost?
The average price of an adult hearing aid is around $2,000 to $3,000. This can range from $1,000 to over $4,000 for each device, depending on the level of technology.
HearingLife, a large group of hearing clinics, has a chart that breaks down hearing aid prices by feature level for two common brands, Oticon and Sonic.
Basic hearing aids will cost less but have fewer features and customizable tools to help you hear better. For example, most of today’s high-end hearing aids come with deep learning capabilities.
For pediatric hearing aids, the price is often lower and often covered by insurance.
CROS hearing aids and cochlear implants have different prices.
What is included in the cost of the hearing aid?
Although prices for hearing aids are high, it is important to know that you are paying much more than the devices themselves. Your hearing aids may come with a set of hearing appointments for monitoring and adjusting your hearing aids if necessary.
Bundled vs Unbundled Services
Your purchase typically includes the hearing test, consultation, initial fitting and all follow-up adjustments, routine cleanings, and a warranty of between one and three years. This is known as bundle pricing. Hearing aid warranties often cover all repairs and include a one-time replacement policy if you lose a hearing aid. Some hearing care professionals also include a supply of hearing aid batteries to help you get started.
Why is clustering so common? Your hearing ability may change, your hearing aid may need service, and you may occasionally have questions. You are making an investment in the professional as well as the hearing aid technology.
Yet, some clinics may “decouple” the costs of hearing care from the cost of hearing aids. Within this fee structure, you may be able to choose which services you want to purchase up front, such as loss and damage coverage, and which you want to pay as you go, such as cleaning services for your hearing aids.
In any case, be sure to ask your hearing care professional what is included in the price of hearing aids so that you fully understand what you are buying.
Factors that affect hearing aid prices
The main factor that affects the purchase price of the hearing aid is the level of technology and the features included. As is the case with most consumer electronics, technological sophistication becomes cheaper over time, and this has certainly happened in the hearing aid industry.
While overall hearing aid prices have remained stable, the technology you can get for the price is much higher now than it was just two years ago. What was once considered a premium hearing aid is now considered entry-level technology.
All hearing aid manufacturers strive to provide devices that meet patient needs and budgets. To achieve this, almost every product line consists of multiple performance or price tiers. The most advanced level will contain all the latest and greatest features, such as the most advanced noise reduction circuitry and wireless capabilities. Lower performance tiers will contain fewer and less sophisticated features as the price drops.
Why are hearing aids so expensive?
The price of hearing aids includes the cost of the device itself as well as the services of the professional.
Part of the cost of manufacturing hearing aids comes from the research needed to keep making technological advancements every year. Every year, hundreds of millions of dollars are spent by the industry to improve the performance of these devices. These investments have led to hearing aids that serve people better.
Here’s another way to think about the price of hearing aids. If your hearing aids cost $6,200 and have an eight-year lifespan, they will cost you about $775 per year, $64 per month, or $2.15 per day. In other words, if the total amount is large, the current use price is more reasonable. Monthly is what you would pay for satellite or cable television. When you consider the communication, relationship, and health benefits you get from wearing hearing aids, most people agree that it’s worth it.
OTC hearing aids
For now, hearing aids are regulated medical devices, but due to changes in federal law, over-the-counter hearing aids may soon be available. This will likely make them more affordable, although that remains to be seen.
Hearing aids online and by mail order
You can buy many things cheaply online. If you have mild hearing loss, you might be tempted to purchase a Personal Sound Amplification Product (PSAP) from a website, often referred to as “hearing amplifiers” or even “hearing aid amplifiers”. This product is similar to eyeglass “cheats” available at a local pharmacy. However, age-related hearing loss is more complex than age-related vision loss.
These cheaper products tend to increase everything sounds, not just the ones you can’t hear. At a hearing clinic, your hearing aids are calibrated specifically for your unique hearing loss and any other issues you may have, such as tinnitus. Clinics can also pre-program your hearing aids to change settings as you find yourself in different environments. And, if your services are bundled, you can go back when you need them for a tweak or a cleanup.
Financial assistance and insurance coverage
The most recent data showed that about 40% of Americans have some form of third-party payment that helps pay for hearing aids. Check with your insurer if you receive a benefit and if so, the amount of this benefit. Most plans that include hearing aids only cover a certain amount of devices (on average about 85% of the cost) every few years.
If you served in the US military, you may be eligible for hearing aids through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). When you qualify, the VA normally pays for everything associated with the hearing aid, including the supply of batteries. There are other options for hearing aid financing, including low-interest loans, credit cards, and cash financing plans for medical devices.
See Healthy Hearing’s information on hearing aid insurance, Medicare, AARP, and veterans for more information. Next, talk to your hearing care professional about your financing and coverage options. There may be local charities or funding sources that will apply to your situation.
Why should I buy hearing aids?
When deciding whether or not to spend your hard-earned money on hearing aids, also consider the financial impact of not spending that money on hearing aids. It’s nearly impossible to put a price tag on missed conversations with your spouse, family, friends, and co-workers.
It’s nearly impossible to put a price tag on missed conversations with your spouse, family, friends, and co-workers.
If you have hearing loss, you are also missing some of life’s beautiful and important sounds: the laughter of your grandchildren, the joyous songs of birds, the raindrops gently falling outside your window, your doorbell, the car’s turn signal and your oven’s timer.
If you are still working, you are also losing money because of your hearing loss. A Better Hearing Institute study looked at more than 40,000 households and found that untreated hearing loss reduced income by an average of $12,000 per year and up to $30,000 per year. The good news is that wearing hearing aids can lessen the effects by 50%. It’s a good return on your investment.
Dementia-related hearing loss and more
Finally, hearing aids are good for your health. Untreated hearing loss is linked to other health problems such as dementia, depression, high blood pressure, and an increased risk of trips and falls.
Purchasing hearing aids is an important investment in your quality of life, professional career, relationships and overall health. The right hearing care professional will understand your hearing loss as well as your financial situation. Don’t put off this important step in your quality of life.
Check our directory to find hearing aid centers near you and call today.