How Much Do Hearing Aids Cost?
No one wants to overpay for their hearing aids. Whether you’re buying hearing aids for the first time or taking stock of the kind you have, the question you should as is: how much do hearing aids cost? There are several things that contribute to your hearing aids cost. The six largest factors affecting the cost of hearing aids are:
- Level of technology.
- Whether they’re amplifiers or hearing aids.
- Where you buy your hearing aids.
- Third-party insurance.
Level of Technology
There are several different levels of technology that the hearing aids come in. The three top technologies are Premium, Advanced and, Select. The hearing aids below Select are better suited for nursing homes and people who don’t live with any background noise, not even the TV.
Premium hearing aids make use of modern technology and offer the top tier of quality that’s available from the manufacturer. These hearing aids are going to cut down the most background noise, give you the most frequency adjustments, and the best sound quality and clarity.
Advanced hearing aids cut down less background noise than the premium. There are fewer frequencies to make the hearing aids sound its best for you. This level is best suited for people that are in a lot of background noise such as, having conversations in the car, parties, sports events, and other loud places.
Active hearing aids cut down basic background noise.
There are a few styles to choose from, but for cost differences, there are three.
- Behind the Ear (BTE) / Receiver in the Canal (RIC) — tend to be less expensive because they are off the shelf and can be put on most people.
- Custom fit — Custom fit hearing aids tend to be more expensive because they are custom just for you and no one else can wear them. We take an impression of your ear and make the hearing aid an exact fit for you.
- Invisible in the Canal (IIC) — IIC are a custom, but typically cost a little more than completely in the canal (CIC) custom hearing aids. IIC’s tend to be more because they are not only custom, they are difficult to make. They typically fit way down your ear canal past the second bend in your canal. We must make a special ear impression right up next to your ear drum. If there is not enuf room past your second bend for the hearing aid, then we would have to make the hearing aid a little bigger. The hearing aid is made thinner than a normal custom hearing aid. We have to get the batterie, microphone, receiver and all the other components that make up a hearing aid down deep in your canal. A lot of extra work and different use of materials go into making a hearing aid that small.
There are several different manufactures of hearing aids just like there are several manufactures of cars. Some manufacturers do a better job than others. Sound is a perception, so you might like the sound quality of a particular manufacturer’s hearing aids better than a different one.
Each manufacturer is going to have a different price structure. Most of the better manufacturers are going to have comparable pricing to each other and the intermediate manufacturers are going to be similar in pricing and so on. If I do business with one manufacture more than another, my price is going to come down a little more because I would be buying more hearing aids from them. The more you buy, the less you pay. I will go over more about the manufactures of hearing aids in another blog.
Amplifiers or Hearing Aids
There has been some confusion about the difference between an amplifier or an actual hearing aid.
- Amplifiers just turn sound up and sound down. There are no adjustments for your hearing loss.
- Hearing aids have adjustments to fit your hearing loss.
If you have a high-frequency hearing loss, for example, then we just want to add amplification to the highs. Depending on the technology level of the hearing aid, we can make as many adjustments as needed to suit your specific type of hearing loss. There is a prescription that we put in your hearing aid for your hearing loss.
Where You Buy Your Hearing Aids
Just like anything else you buy there is going to be a price difference from office to office. Finding an Audiologist/ Hearing Aid Specialist, you trust goes a long way in ensuring you don’t overpay for your hearing aids.
Recently, third-party insurances have been popping up. You call your insurance company to see what they pay for hearing aids; they give you a number to call for your benefits. They get you in touch with an office and sometimes even make the appointment for you. They are a subcontractor with your insurance company. You actually buy the hearing aid from them and not the person you went to see for your hearing test. Sometimes their pricing is a lot better than we can do for you, but other times our pricing is a lot better than theirs.
Once you establish contact with a hearing care provider through the third-party, we must go throw the third-party to buy the hearing aids. My suggestion is to make the appointment on your own; do not sign up with the third-party. Then ask your hearing aid provider what their price is compared to the third-party. You can also call the third-party to find out what their price is. That way you get the best price possible.
Are You overpaying for Your Hearing Aid?
Without answering all these questions, I am really not sure. However, you are not just buying a hearing aid. You are buying into your hearing aid provider. You have to have a good relationship with your provider — that is key. Your hearing aid provider should take the time you that you need, you should feel comfortable in the office and not feel like you’re a pest. Sometimes it takes several visits to get everything just the way you need it. Customer service in itself is priceless!
If you’re interested in learning more about how much hearing aids cost, please contact our office at 907-644-6004. We’d be happy to answer your questions and help you find the best hearing aid option for you.