Hearing loss is a common problem among seniors – approximately  37.5 million American adults have trouble hearing. However, 28.8 million of them don’t benefit from hearing aids. There are many reasons why someone may choose not to wear a hearing aid, including lack of access to hearing specialists, stigma surrounding assistive devices, and aesthetic reasons.  For some, the cost is a barrier. Hearing aids can be quite expensive, with average costs ranging from $1,000 to $6,000. 

Even though hearing aid costs are intimidating, it is important for people who suffer from hearing loss to have these devices in hand. They make all the difference in the world by improving everyday life. Read on to see why hearing aid costs are so high and how that doesn’t have to break the bank.

Understanding the Cost of Hearing Aids

Hearing aids are complicated and precise medical devices. Over the years, audiologists have continued to develop new technology to advance hearing aids. A lot of time and money is behind each one of these devices, delivering high quality and rich features to the final product.

Not only does the development of technology impact the cost of hearing aids, but so do the features that exist within them. The device gets more expensive with more features available, both in upfront costs and expenses throughout the life of the device. Features offered with many hearing aids include:

  • Noise Reduction reduces the amplification of certain channels that aren’t helpful in a particular environment. This is especially helpful in loud places where someone wants to hear the person speaking to them and not the noise around them.
  • Multiple Channels allow for a more accurate analysis of the sound environment, which enhances the other features of the hearing aid.
  • Directional Microphones pick up audio from specific places in front and behind the user. This allows for the hearing aid to adjust the amplification of certain channels, producing a clear sound that is clear and easy to interpret.
  • Multiple Memories are great for flexibility in many different environments. The hearing aid can be configured for a particular situation, then saved into memory to be recalled later when needed.
  • Rechargeable Batteries make hearing aids more accessible while on the go. There’s no need to purchase and carry batteries around, just keep the charger handy.
  • Wireless Connectivity gives the user a direct connection to Bluetooth-enabled devices such as phones, tablets, or computers. This helps someone take phone calls, listen to music, watch videos, and many other uses.

Another reason for the high cost of hearing aids is the build quality. This can vary widely based on the brand and model, giving the lifespan of a hearing aid anywhere between 3 to 7 years before it needs replacing. Most of the time, the higher the quality of the hearing aid, the longer it’ll last, and the more it will cost.

Making Hearing Aids Affordable

Knowing the cost of hearing aids and understanding why it is so high is important, but so is knowing how to get the devices for a price that fits your budget. Below, we explain some options available to make hearing aid costs more manageable.

Tips For Buying Hearing Aids Online

2.14 billion people around the world shop online, nearly a quarter of the world’s population. There are many reasons why this is the case; it’s quick, convenient, cheaper, and finding competitive pricing is easy.

This is certainly true when shopping for hearing aids. Many vendors serve a wide range of brands and models with varying features, all for a much lower cost than traditional outlets. However, be aware that when buying hearing aids online the devices are not custom-programmed for your hearing profile like they would be if you get your hearing aids through an audiologist. If you have severe hearing loss or have not found success with over-the-counter or online hearing aids in the past, you should work with a certified audiologist. 

Bundle Hearing Aids With Service Packages

When buying hearing aids, vendors may offer an option to “bundle” their services. These services are essential for setting up and maintaining these devices, items such as:

  • Fittings and follow-up adjustments get someone a comfortable fit and maintain the effectiveness of the hearing aid throughout its lifespan. Hearing loss changes over time and the hearing aid must adapt.
  • Regular cleanings keep hearing aids from getting dirty, which makes them perform better for longer. These are precise devices and any build-up of dead skin or earwax can impact their effectiveness.
  • Warranty replacements are a great backup if something unexpected happens. The cost of hearing aids is expensive enough without having to pay for them twice.

“Bundling” is a popular option for those looking to save money because over time an individual’s hearing needs may change. Having services like follow-up adjustments and consultations available when this happens can save some unexpected expenses later.

The other option is the buy these services “unbundled”. This allows someone to pay for what they need upfront without paying for anything unnecessarily. This requires some thinking ahead and making compromises, but can save money in the long run if done right.

Use Insurance to Lower Hearing Aid Costs

A typical insurance policy may not cover the cost of hearing aids, but there are ways to significantly reduce the expense. Consider the following:

  • Health Savings Plans are flexible since they act as a medical savings account that can be used for medical needs as needed, including hearing aids.
  • Department of Veteran’s Affairs often will pay hearing aid costs for veterans, especially if the hearing loss is a result of time served.
  • Medicare doesn’t generally cover hearing aids, but a Medicare Part C plan through a private party usually includes solutions for hearing loss.
  • Medicaid can cover most, if not all, of hearing aid costs.

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