Cost of hearing aids

Cost of hearing aids

The cost of a pair of hearing aids varies widely, depending on the manufacturer, quality, and features. Generally, hearing aid prices range from $1,500 to $3500 per unit, but some hearing aids cost as much as $6,000 each. The average price for a set of hearing aids is $4,600 per set.     

For many Americans, the cost of hearing aids is equivalent to two months' salary, making hearing aids a significant investment, even if your health insurance covers some of the expense. Here we’ll discuss the cost of hearing aids, why they may seem expensive, and whether cheaper hearing aids are worth the money their manufacturers claim you’ll save.

How expensive are hearing aids?

When seen as a one-time purchase, hearing aids certainly may seem expensive. To get a realistic view of how much hearing aids cost, however, you have to consider their full lifespan. Let’s say you purchase a set of hearing aids for $4,600. The hearing aids have a lifespan of five years, so they cost you approximately $575 a year or $48 a month. That’s less than what most people spend on cable television or streaming services. 

When put into perspective, hearing aids aren’t that expensive over the long term. The difficulty, of course, is paying the full-cost of hearing aids upfront. Many hearing aid dispensers offer financing to make purchasing easier, or you can take advantage of insurance policies and other ways of paying for hearing aids.

What is included in hearing aid costs?

The cost of a hearing aid includes more than just the device. Costs usually include the cost of your initial consultation, a hearing aid test, the custom-molding of earmolds, a specialized service package and the initial fitting. Follow-up adjustments, routine cleaning, and a one- to three-year warranty are also often included in the price. Be sure to ask for a list of what the price includes when considering hearing aids. 

Is a hearing aid warranty worthwhile?

A hearing aid warranty is well worth the extra expense. The warranty not only covers all repair work, but usually includes a one-time replacement policy if you lose one of your hearing aids. Hearing aids are small, and it can be easy to misplace one. 

What isn’t included in hearing aid costs?

Replacement batteries are rarely included in hearing aid costs, although many dispensers provide a pack of batteries to get you started. Accessories such as devices to dry out hearing aids at night and cleaning kits are also not usually included. If you choose a set of rechargeable hearing aids, remember the cost of the charging port and eventual battery replacement are not part of the initial cost.

What affects hearing aid prices?

Prices for hearing aids are largely determined by the level of technology and extra features that are available. You’ll pay more for a hearing aid with Bluetooth connectivity than for a similar model without Bluetooth, for instance. Keep this in mind as you choose hearing aids. Don’t purchase models which come with features you know you won’t use.

 

Like any product, newer hearing aid models with the latest technological advancements cost more than older, less advanced models. As a technological feature becomes more popular and is adopted by more manufacturers the cost of that particular feature drops. Pretty much all new hearing aids, for instance, now come with telecoils, which were once reserved for high-end models.

 

Hearing aid manufacturers are constantly researching and developing new technologies. A portion of your hearing aid cost goes towards research and development.

Which hearing aid features increase the cost?

Additional features can drive up hearing aid costs. It’s also important to remember that those same features can greatly improve your quality of life. They can make it easier to detect which direction sounds come from, they can reduce background noise when talking in loud environments, and they allow phones and televisions to transmit audio directly to your hearing aid. 

  • Additional features may include:
  • Noise reduction
  • Directional microphones
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Telecoils
  • Wireless connectivity
  • Remote controls
  • Direct audio input
  • Variable programming
  • Environmental noise control

A Consumer Reports survey of hearing aid users found 53% said rechargeable batteries were among the most important features looked for in hearing aids, with 43% valuing smartphone connectivity and tinnitus symptom reduction the most. Automatic noise level adjustments, multiple program settings, advanced microphone features, and wireless technology all ranked high among survey respondents.

Average costs for different hearing aids

Different types of hearing aids come with very different prices. The average price is determined largely by where you live and the style/model that you choose. Prices can go up or down based on the manufacturer, quality, and extra features that the hearing aid has. It’s important to work closely with your licensed hearing care professional to determine which style, model, and price point works best for you. 

Can i buy a hearing aid online?

Hearing aids are generally available by prescription, but if you spend any time researching hearing aids online, you’ll find offers for something called a personal sound amplification product. Advertised as inexpensive over-the-counter alternatives to prescription hearing aids, PSAPs are not approved for use as hearing loss treatments.

Consumer Reports tested four types of PSAPs whose prices ranged from $20 to $350. The publication found a number of concerns with PSAPs, including:

  1. The potential to over-amplify sounds to hearing-damage levels
  2. Devices can block incoming sounds like earplugs.
  3. Blocked, stuffy sensations in the ear.
  4. Inability to amplify lower pitched sounds. 

While advertised as a treatment for mild to moderate hearing aids, PSAPs cannot be customized to achieve optimal hearing. It can take two or more adjustments by hearing care professionals to fine-tune hearing aid settings to individual needs. PSAPs cannot provide this level of customization. 

Next steps

Your hearing problems are unique to you and require custom solutions. If you’re having difficulty hearing, contact a licensed hearing care professional for a consultation and hearing aid test.

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