The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) created a new category of over-the-counter hearing aids for adults that are expected to improve access and reduce costs. The compensation we receive from advertisers does not influence the recommendations or advice that our editorial team provides in our articles, nor does it otherwise affect Forbes Health editorial content. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information that we believe you will find relevant, Forbes Health does not and cannot guarantee that the information provided is complete and makes no representation or warranty regarding it or its accuracy or applicability. Why do hearing aids cost so much? Here's What You Really Pay When You Buy Hearing Aids, Plus Ways to Make Them More Affordable.
That rate may seem like a lot, but if you consider the factors that influence the price, it may not seem like such a bad deal. Today, audiologists offer a wide variety of types of hearing aids, each of which has unique advantages and disadvantages for people based on their hearing health needs. The prices of these hearing aids can also vary dramatically. Hearing aids are usually sold together with professional services, meaning that everything is included in the price of the sticker.
The price they quote includes the retail price of hearing aids and the professional audiology services needed to install and program the devices, as well as to repair and maintain them for a specified period of time, usually two to four years. In some cases, initial diagnostic tests are offered free of charge or are included in the package price. Hearing aids can also be sold “disaggregated” or without professional services included. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding over-the-counter hearing aids and the potential expansion of Medicare to include coverage for hearing aids and related services.
With the disaggregated model, hearing aids are purchased separately from any related service. The disaggregated price may also include one or two follow-up office visits, after which you pay out of pocket for each visit to the audiology office. It all starts with an audiogram, which is a hearing test performed by a licensed audiologist. Private health insurance usually covers a diagnostic audiogram (but check your specific policy for more information).
It can help determine if hearing loss is age-related or caused by a medical condition that requires additional follow-up care and treatment. These headphones can also be small and not conspicuous compared to low-end models. The Starkey Invisible (IIC) model, for example, rests deep within the second curve of the ear canal, making the hearing aid virtually invisible. Premium hearing aids also have rechargeable batteries, which can offer up to 30 hours of continuous use before they need to be recharged (usually done at night).
The included service model includes the accessory, which consists of physically fitting a hearing aid or a component of the device to the patient's ear. Depending on the hearing device you choose, it may be necessary to create a physical mold in the ear. An adjustment also includes importing the results of the audiogram into the device's software and programming the hearing aid for your unique hearing ability and the specific acoustics of your ears. Headphone programming is a verification and validation process that measures the sound amplified by the hearing aid before it reaches the ear canal and quantifies the number of decibels that patients hear.
Get ready to test your hearing aids in the real world and visit your audiologist several times until you can hear well in situations such as eating with friends in noisy restaurants. Earl, PhD. Hearing aids can be filled with moisture and wax, and audiologists can perform professional cleaning with supersonic vacuums and cleaners. Professional maintenance checks every six months are usually included in the price of the package so that the headphones also work without problems.
Usually, the package price includes a one- to three-year warranty specified by the manufacturer to cover the cost of repairs, and complete replacements usually cost a certain amount per device and can only be done once. When your warranty coverage ends, you can pay to extend it, but that can be expensive. If something breaks after the standard warranty expires, you can also pay to have it repaired, as the repair will include a new warranty. Not sure which hearing aid is best for you? Answer a few simple questions on the MDHearing website or call 1-855-671-2524 for more information.
Research and development drive much of the cost of hearing aids. Research is underway to improve these small but powerful personalized medical devices to mimic natural hearing. The best hearing aids for you come with the right hearing support at a price that fits your budget. While discount options can sometimes restrict the number of services you can receive from an audiologist for the hearing aids you choose or limit the warranty options available to you, there are several ways to save on this health expense.
According to the American Hearing Loss Association, only one in five people who would benefit from a hearing aid actually use it, but hearing health is a fundamental component of overall health and well-being. If left untreated, hearing loss can lead to increased cognitive decline and aggravate social isolation. Over time, both of these factors may contribute to the risk of dementia. Integrating hearing aids into your wellness plan is one of the easiest ways to mitigate these risks and continue to live a balanced and full life.
Information provided on Forbes Health is for educational purposes only. Your health and well-being are unique to you, and the products and services we review may not be appropriate for your circumstances. We don't offer individual medical advice, diagnoses or treatment plans. For personalized advice, consult a medical professional.
Forbes Health adheres to strict editorial integrity standards. As far as we know, all content is accurate as of the date of publication, although the offers included in this document may no longer be available. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and have not been provided, approved or otherwise supported by our advertisers. Abram Bailey is a leading consumer technology expert in the hearing care industry.
He is a strong supporter of person-centered hearing care and audiological best practices, and welcomes any technological innovation that improves access to quality hearing results. Bailey has a doctorate in audiology from Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Bailey is the executive director of Hearing Tracker, Inc. Start by contacting your health insurance company to determine if your plan covers hearing aids.
Through an application, you can customize Eargo headphones for sound environments, such as windy outdoor areas and noisy indoor environments. Healthy hearing is an important part of your overall well-being; in fact, it can help reduce the risk of cognitive decline as you age, including the development of dementia. You may be familiar with personal sound amplification products (PSAPs), also called hearing amplifiers. When you speak, the headset's microphone will pick up your voice and transmit it to your phone, as long as it's within the required Bluetooth range (about 9 meters).
This means that if you have a serious or profound hearing loss, you're likely to pay more for the devices themselves and for post-purchase adjustments. With the included service model, you can visit the audiologist as often as you need to adjust your hearing aids and fit, and to maintain and repair them as needed, at no additional cost. The Eargo Support Center website also offers a wide variety of videos and user guides for all of your hearing aid models. In addition to the above functions, the Volt and Volt Max also offer directional microphones (to help you hear the voice in front of you) and rechargeable batteries.
While some direct-to-consumer brands offer devices to treat severe hearing loss, most brands that specialize in serious and profound hearing loss are sold through audiologist clinics. When you break down the costs of hearing aids, you can choose the items in the line that you want to buy. The good news is that the FDA has finalized a rule to allow access to hearing aids that can be sold without a prescription or without the need for an audiological exam. For example, audiologists often charge more for in-person care than specialists who help you with hearing aids online or by phone.
This also applies to those who suffer from hearing loss due to an injury or medical condition in the ear. . .