You did it. Your family and friends have been hounding you for years to get your hearing tested and you finally caved in. The audiologist confirmed your suspicion of hearing loss and recommended behind-the-ear hearing aids. He hands you a couple of brochures and you get the shock of your life upon hearing the price:$3000 for the low-end models and $8000 for the top-of-the-line models. You are certainly willing to wear hearing aids because you realize you need them. The prices quoted are equivalent to the cost of a used car, and you simply can’t afford to pay for even the least expensive brand.Why are hearing aids so expensive, and is there any way to buy them for less?
One hearing center lists the following as all of the different hearing aid options:
- Behind the Ear (BTE)
- Behind the Ear Super Power (BTE SP)
- Completely in Canal (CIC)
- Invisible in the Canal (IIC)
- In the Canal (ITC)
- Mini Behind the Ear (mini BTE)
- Receiver in Canal (RIC)
Hearing aids dispensed by an audiologist or hearing aid dealer in a brick-and-mortar clinicare marked up three to five times their actual cost because they include bundled services, rent, and salaries.Bundled services include fittings and up to five years of follow-up visits. It doesn’t matter if you have two follow-up visits or fifteen;when you buy hearing aids offline, you’re paying for several years of visits upfront – services you may never need. Typically, most hearing aid users returnonly two to three times for office services. Doesn’t it make better sense to pay for services as needed?
It’s possible to buy the very same hearing aids at a much more affordable price. How? By buying them online from professional hearing aid dealers. These hearing aid dealers have many years of experience and use their expertise to provide excellent service at much lower costs. Because online hearing aid stores have very low overhead costs, they can pass the savings on to the consumer. The consumer pays only for the services needed at an audiologist’s office, such as adjustments to the initial programming, fine-tuning the hearing aids, and custom ear molds, if needed.
To get started, send a copy of your most recent audiogramto the online hearing aid store. If you have worn hearing aids previously, and know which brand and model you wish to purchase, please indicate this on the audiogram. If you have not worn hearing aids before and have no preferred brand or model, you will receive guidance from knowledgeable professionals on the appropriate hearing aids for your hearing loss. Choose the ones within your budget. Your new hearing aids will be specially programmed for your specific hearing loss beforebeing shipped out. If open fit ear molds are suitable for your hearing loss, they will be included in the shipment, along with a pack of hearing aid batteries.
If your hearing aids include open-fit ear molds, you should be able to use the hearing aids immediately. It may take several days or weeks to adjust to wearing a hearing aid; however, if you feel you need the hearing aids adjusted, please make an appointment to see an audiologist. Be prepared to pay the audiologist for this unbundled service. Just remember, you’ve saved thousands of dollars by buying your hearing aids online and paying only for the services you need.