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Imagine being surrounded by a world of muted sounds, struggling to interact and engage in even the simplest of tasks. For those with hearing impairments, a hearing aid can be a game-changer, enabling them to hear more clearly and connect with the world around them.
Sadly, the high cost of these essential tools can be a major barrier for many. Why are hearing aids so expensive?
To break down these barriers, it's crucial to understand the true cost of hearing aids and work towards reducing them.
What’s Included in the Price?
The initial price mentioned for a hearing aid device may not be the ultimate cost that you have to pay.
Why are hearing aids so expensive? Generally, the total expense of purchasing a hearing aid may comprise various additional services such as fitting and dispensing fees, aftercare, warranties, customization, and ongoing care, including future appointments.
These costs, which are often connected to either a hearing center as well as an audiologist, are mostly in addition to a hearing aid device.
In case you opt to buy hearing aids directly from an online retailer, the cost may cover just the hearing aid device. However, some individuals may decide to include additional expenses such as a warranty or accessories, thereby increasing the total price.
You can also see a higher sticker price if an audiologist or hearing facility combines fees. By purchasing hearing aids in a bundle, you pay a single price.
- The actual device used for hearing assistance.
- Continuous access to expert services.
- Hearing aids available on loan.
When seeking hearing aid services, it is possible to request unbundled costs, where the hearing aid is paid for separately, and additional services are purchased as required.
Deciding whether to bundle costs or not is a matter of personal preference, as some people may feel more secure with bundled services, while others may prefer a pay-per-use model.
Factors Affecting Hearing Aid Costs
You might be wondering why are hearing aids so expensive and what factors affect the price? Many consumers are perplexed by the significant price disparities between hearing aids, which can cost anywhere from $399 to over $6,000. Here are some of the most typical elements that have an impact on the overall cost; however, this is not an exhaustive list.
The advancements in technology, including better innovations, Bluetooth and wireless features, telecoil, smartphone applications, and the capacity to adjust frequency volume through multiple channels, contribute to the rising prices of the best digital hearing aids. Why are hearing aids so expensive? It is essential to consider these factors when evaluating the cost of hearing aids.
Hearing aid style
The bottom line can be affected by the aesthetic you choose. A common example is the discrepancy in price between in-the-ear and behind-the-ear hearing aids.
Models of hearing aids that come with rechargeable batteries generally have a higher upfront cost as compared to those with disposable batteries.
However, in the long term, a rechargeable battery could prove to be a cost-effective option, saving you a considerable amount of money. See the best rechargeable hearing aids.
The entire cost is increased by features like tinnitus-masking capabilities, directional microphones, artificial intelligence, noise reduction, and feedback management.
Hearing aid model
When shopping for hearing aids, it is worth considering older models from the same company as they tend to be less expensive and have similar features to the latest version. Why are hearing aids so expensive? It is recommended to compare the features of older and newer models before making a purchase, as sometimes the differences are insignificant.
Support and ongoing care
The expenses of hearing aids can be influenced by the services provided by an audiologist or hearing center professional, such as consultations, fittings, adjustments, and ongoing care. More services and support typically lead to higher costs.
For less money, several private health insurance companies provide restricted coverage for hearing tests and devices.
Why Do Hearing Aids Cost So Much?
Why are hearing aids so expensive? The high cost of hearing aids is a major hindrance for many people to buy them, regardless of whether they opt for a basic or premium model.
The expenses linked with these devices are a primary reason for people's reluctance to invest in them, with technology being one factor contributing to the high costs.
The final cost of a product can rise significantly due to enhancements in technology, research and development, Bluetooth connectivity, smartphone apps, and other supplementary services that enhance the user's experience. See the best Bluetooth hearing aids.
And finally, manufacturers of hearing aids are likely to increase the sticker price in order to account for the costs of manufacturing, parts, and any other costs linked to running a business that is required to make the device.
Can I Buy Hearing Aids Online?
Best online hearing aids shopping has become a common choice for many people. There are various methods available for purchasing equipment online. Online hearing aid sales are common at big-box stores like Walmart.
Why are hearing aids so expensive? If you're looking to buy hearing aids, you can explore an online discount network that provides them at a discounted price of up to 35% as compared to the retail price.
Such networks have partnerships with local audiologists or hearing centers to offer you top-quality hearing aids while keeping the cost low.
Direct-to-Consumer Hearing Aid Companies
Companies such as Eargo, Jabra Enhance, MDHearing, and Audicus sell hearing products directly to consumers through online platforms.
Although a professional examination or test of your hearing is not necessary to purchase from these retailers, several of them provide the best online hearing tests to help customers better understand their options.
Moreover, some direct-to-consumer businesses offer programming advice from an on-staff audiologist over the phone or online both during the purchasing process and afterward.
Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids
You might be hoping to find hearing aids for sale in your neighborhood drugstore or discount department store, but at this time, such devices are not commercially available over the counter.
The United States was tasked with the duty of providing better access to top-notch hearing aids for people experiencing mild to moderate hearing impairment.
In 2017, the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act was passed by the FDA. However, the regulations for this have not yet been implemented.
An executive order was issued by President Biden on July 9, 2021, directing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to produce recommendations regarding the sale of hearing aids over the counter within the next one hundred twenty days.
Why are hearing aids so expensive? Direct-to-consumer websites provide the option to buy hearing aids online until the FDA makes a decision on over-the-counter hearing aids, which is anticipated by both retailers and customers.
Does Insurance Cover Hearing Aids?
Hearing aid coverage may be included in your private health insurance, whether it's via your work or a self-funded plan for you and your family.
Why are hearing aids so expensive? A hearing test or a partial reimbursement for hearing aids may be provided by certain private health insurance plans. Yet, many institutions do not support hearing aids in any way. When you go out and get some hearing aids, be mindful of the fine print on the benefits booklet.
In some states, there are laws that require health insurance plans to cover the cost of hearing aids for children, and in some cases, even adults are eligible for this benefit. Therefore, it is advisable to check your health insurance plan to see if you are eligible for hearing aid coverage.
In addition, Medicare Parts A and B do not include coverage for hearing aids or fitting exams. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C), you may want to reach out to your plan provider, as some plans offer additional benefits beyond what Original Medicare provides.
Is Financing Available for Hearing Aids?
When asking yourself why are hearing aids so expensive, you might also wonder if financing is available for these devices. It’s important to note that hearing aids may be purchased with interest-free financing from certain hearing aid centers as well as internet distributors.
The majority of authorized hearing professionals and facilities provide financing options or payment plans that enable you to pay the expenses over an extended period. However, it is important to conduct thorough research on the financing firm before agreeing to its terms and conditions.
Those who meet the requirements and have little financial resources might receive hearing aids from nonprofit groups like Help America Hear. The NIDCD also offers resources for finding affordable hearing aids. See our free hearing aids article for more resources.
Why Invest in High-Quality Hearing Aids?
Prices for hearing aids typically range from around $1,800 to over $3,000, so it's understandable if you're tempted to choose the cheapest choice.
Why are hearing aids so expensive? Even though certain budget hearing aids can help those with slight hearing loss, those with moderate to severe hearing loss should really look into splurging on a better model.
For individuals with severe to profound hearing loss, a hearing aid with high amplification is necessary to enhance their ability to hear and comprehend sounds effectively.
This type of hearing aid is designed to provide the maximum amplification required for the best hearing experience.
Also, most high-quality hearing aids have extra features that make operating your device simpler.
Among the more well-liked aspects are:
- Rechargeable batteries.
- Smartphone apps.
- Bluetooth capability.
- Feedback suppression.
- Multiple channels to adjust the volume of certain frequencies.
- Speech enhancement.
Why are hearing aids so expensive? Here are some tips to help you locate the best fit if you're ready to spend money on a hearing aid.
- It is advisable to go through the details of your insurance coverage thoroughly. Even though hearing aid benefits are not commonly included in most insurance policies, it is still recommended that you contact your plan representative to inquire about it.
- Seek an appointment with an authorized audiologist or hearing health expert. During the meeting, you can inquire about the best hearing aids and undergo a hearing evaluation.
- In case you suspect a medical cause behind your hearing loss, it is recommended to visit a certified physician or otolaryngologist (ENT specialist) to eliminate any medical problems.
- Professionals advise getting your hearing checked before investing in hearing aids. The best place to have this done is in an audiologist's office, where a trained professional can analyze your results. To ensure you'll benefit most from a hearing aid, it's a good idea to take advantage of one of the many available online hearing tests.
- Why are hearing aids so expensive? When looking to buy the best cheapest hearing aids, it is recommended to either purchase them from an audiologist or a discounted network that works with audiologists in your locality. However, it is advised to compare multiple providers before making a final decision.
- Request a comprehensive written contract that includes all of the fine print information, including prices, coverage, warranties, additional costs, return policies, guarantees, loss plus damage insurance, and other costs.
Also, now is the perfect time to inquire about fittings, modifications, upkeep, and ongoing care.
Why Are Hearing Aids So Expensive: Frequently Asked Questions
On top of answering “Why are hearing aids so expensive," we also respond to some of the most common questions on the internet about the costs of hearing aids.
What Is the Average Cost of a Good Hearing Aid?
Prices for hearing aids can range from around $399 to over $6000 for a pair. The typical price of a pair of high-quality hearing aids is between $1,800 and $5,000.
Why are hearing aids so expensive? The pricing range provided considers the reduced rates provided by internet-based carriers. For instance, Eargo and Jabra Enhance, which can be purchased directly from their manufacturers, have a starting price range of $1,195 - $1,500 per pair.
On the other hand, Phonak hearing aids, which are sold either by a hearing center or online discount sites, can cost anywhere from $2,200 to $5,000+ per pair.
Why Are Hearing Aids So Expensive?
It is evident why certain hearing aids are costly when considering the technology employed in the best hearing aids.
Why are hearing aids so expensive? Several factors affect the pricing of hearing aids, such as technological advancements, research and development, bundled services, professional consultations with an audiologist, continued maintenance, customization, and the purchase of warranties.
Why Are Hearing Aids So Expensive: The Bottom Line
Don't let the cost of hearing aids hold you back any longer.
Thanks to direct-to-consumer companies, online discount networks, and entry-level models offered by premium brands, there are now more affordable options available. This means hearing aids are accessible to a wider range of people than ever before.
To save even more money, consider buying only what you need, comparing prices from different vendors, and researching financing options. Don't forget to check your insurance benefits too!
Start hearing clearly and enjoying life to the fullest today.