How To Buy A Hearing Aid Without Breaking the Bank | Family finances
If you are in the market for a hearing aid, you might be shocked at the price.
According to the hearing aid review site HearingTracker.com, the average cost of a hearing aid is $ 2,372; the average cost for a pair of hearing aids is $ 4,672. Even if you have Health Insurance, your plan will not cover the cost of hearing aids, and most insurance plans do not usually fully cover expenses either.
And there’s a good chance you or a loved one may be struggling with mild or moderate issues. hearing loss. Nationally, according to a 2012 report from the US Department of Health and Human Resources, approximately 37.5 million people aged 18 and older report hearing problems. So if you are looking to benefit from hearing aids without spending thousands of dollars, you will want to use these smart devices. money saving strategies.
Here are four ways to reduce the cost of a hearing aid:
- Talk to your doctor.
- Compare the prices.
- Prioritize the features that matter most to you.
- Before you buy, find out about the return policy.
Talk to your doctor
If you are facing the shock of stickers or are embarrassed that you cannot afford the high cost of a hearing aid, you may not be thinking about discussing your concerns with your doctor, but you should think about it. new. Your doctor may be able to help you obtain a reduced rate.
Sherri Collins, executive director of the Arizona Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, suggests discussing pricing with your hearing care professional if the cost of an aid is out of reach. “All of the major hearing aid manufacturers offer hearing aids at a lower cost. You don’t have to break the bank to have a hearing aid that could still be useful to you,” says Collins.
“Ask if the model from the previous year is still in production and if it would suit your hearing loss,” Collins says. For those who already have hearing aids, Collins recommends researching “seasonal promotions to show when business slows down and see if you can trade in an old pair of hearing aids.”
Compare the prices
If you’re unhappy with the hearing aids your healthcare provider shows you, “don’t hesitate to get a second opinion. It never hurts to seek additional resources to confirm the information given to you, ”Collins says.
Some of the many places you can purchase hearing aids include Miracle-Ear Hearing Aid Centers, Beltone Hearing Aid Centers, chains such as Walgreens and Walmart, and warehouse clubs like Sam’s Club and Costco. You can also search for recommendations from a hearing aid specialist or audiologist.
You may soon be able to purchase hearing aids in a store without the help of a trained professional. In 2017, Congress asked the Food and Drug Administration to develop regulations for over-the-counter hearing aids, in hopes they would be more affordable. The regulations are expected to be drafted by 2020. There are also many websites that sell hearing aids and even offer hearing tests online.
If you don’t want to spend the money on a hearing aid, you can also invest in a hearing amplifier, also known as personal sound amplification devices. These gadgets amplify sounds but are not as sophisticated as a hearing aid. Yet, they are often a third or a quarter of the price of traditional hearing aids.
Even if you’re worried that you won’t be able to afford a hearing aid, exhaust all options before giving up. The Hearing Loss Association of America website, HearingLoss.org, has many resources and links to organizations like the Kansas Infant / Toddler Hearing Aid Loan Bank, which offers short-term hearing aid loan programs for children up to 3 years of age who have recently been diagnosed with hearing loss.
Every state has at least one agency for the deaf or hard of hearing, just like the District of Columbia, so be sure to see if you are eligible for financial aid. If you are a veteran and receive VA health benefits, you may be able to get free or low cost hearing health care.
Prioritize the features that matter most to you
There are a variety of hearing aid options to choose from. Some have hearing aid channels, which may allow you to adjust the hearing aid. So if you have trouble hearing high-pitched sounds, like birdsong, the help can be changed so that you essentially turn up the volume of the sounds that are causing you the most difficulty. The more complex your hearing, the more access to multiple channels can help you.
You can also get hearing aids that help reduce background noise, so you can hear people talking to you in, say, a noisy restaurant.
“Many consumers also appreciate the Bluetooth capability of many of the newer hearing aids, because wireless or near-wireless streaming of phone calls, music and GPS routes are very convenient,” says Collins.
Either way, you want to know your options and consider them all, says Jason Power, owner and CEO of The Hearing Clinic, which has five sites in Ontario, Canada.
Power advises spending more money on a hearing aid upfront to save more in the long run. “The device with more advanced features and better performance obviously costs more,” says Power.
Still, if you can afford a better quality hearing aid, it’s a piece of equipment you’re potentially going to be using every minute you’re awake, he says. “If you are always working or actively social, have a lot of social or business meetings, talk on the phone often, enjoy listening to music, watching TV, and enjoying socializing with people, your hearing aid use is going to be quite high. ” he says. “In fact, you’ll need to wear your hearing aids for about 12 to 16 hours a day, so you’ll need a device that works consistently and delivers the absolute best sound quality.” In short, while you want to save money on a hearing aid, it’s not a good idea to focus only on buying the cheapest one you can find.
Before buying, inquire about the return policy
San Francisco career coach Dexter Zhuang has been wearing hearing aids for nine years, since his sophomore year in college.
If you can’t afford all the bells and whistles, he suggests getting hearing aids with “powerful noise canceling”. He says it’s essential, given how noisy the world often is. He also points out that if you are not sure whether the hearing aid fits properly, you may be able to return it.
“More audiologists offer a free trial period – at least 30 days – for each pair of hearing aids. Don’t just buy one directly without testing it first, ”he says.