In part four of our special “Ask the Expert” series, Amplifon Hearing Health Care audiologist Carrie Meyer, Au.D., answers a frequently-asked question related to hearing loss and hearing aids.
Here's the Question:
“I’m on a limited budget. How much do hearing aids cost, and how can I make them more affordable?”
Dr. Meyer's Answer:
The cost of hearing aids can vary significantly, depending on the technology level, number of advanced features and other factors. Although this comparison isn’t perfect, it’s a bit like buying a car — the more capabilities, performance features and options you want, the higher the price.
Many people are concerned about the cost of new hearing aids, so you’re definitely not alone. At the same time, I’m pleased to inform you that you can improve your purchasing power by following these five tips:
Tip #1: Choose a hearing solution that’s right for you.
Today’s most advanced hearing aids, which can cost a few thousand dollars or more, are generally designed for people who lead active lifestyles and/or find themselves in very demanding listening situations, such as busy restaurants. But maybe you spend most of your time in quieter environments and in one-on-one conversations with friends. If so, you may be perfectly happy with a hearing solution that has fewer “bells and whistles”.
An experienced and conscientious hearing care provider will focus on tailoring a hearing solution to your specific needs and preferences, so you pay only for what you need.
Tip #2: Check your health insurance coverage.
A growing number of health insurance plans — especially Medicare Advantage plans — now contain a hearing benefit that may cover all or part of the cost of hearing aids. If you don’t have a hearing benefit, your health insurance carrier or employer may participate in a hearing health care program that offers significant savings on high-quality hearing aids.
Tip #3: Use your FSA or HSA dollars.
If your health plan includes a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA), here’s good news: You can use the pre-tax dollars in your account to pay for hearing aids and hearing care services. (This is even better news if your employer contributes to your FSA or HSA!) Be aware that, with most FSAs, you must use your funds by the end of the plan year. Most HSAs allow you to carry over your fund balance from year to year.
Tip #4: Spread out your costs with financing.
A financing program can enable you to purchase high-quality hearing aids with affordable monthly payments. Some programs even feature an interest-free option for individuals who qualify. A participating provider may even offer to assist you with the application process.
Tip #5: Look for the best value and beware of hidden costs.
Comparing the prices of hearing aids is a good idea, but it doesn’t necessarily speak to real value. Why? Because expert service, from initial testing and fitting to follow-up care, plays a critical role in a person’s success with hearing aids. However, with some providers, you may incur additional costs for aftercare and other essential services. These “extras,” coupled with the expense of hearing aid batteries, can add hundreds of dollars to the cost of ownership. Find out exactly what’s included with your hearing aid purchase. In addition, ask whether the provider offers a trial period and how long it is, in case you’re not completely happy with the hearing aids.
The potential costs of untreated hearing loss
Lastly, I urge you to consider the cost of not taking care of your hearing loss. Numerous studies have shown a strong connection between untreated hearing loss and potentially serious and expensive medical conditions, including dementia, depression and injury-causing falls. In addition, hearing loss has been linked with increased healthcare use, including number of hospitalizations.
If you’re employed, you should also know that untreated hearing loss could cost you as much as $30,000 in annual income, according to the MarkeTrak VII study, which involved 40,000 households.
Amplifon: a leader in affordable hearing care
I hope these tips are helpful to you. I feel fortunate to work for a company, Amplifon Hearing Health Care, that has helped make hearing aids and health care services more affordable for individuals from coast to coast. Advantages of the Amplifon program include:
- Risk-free 60-day trial – 100% money back guarantee1
- Aftercare program – 1 year of follow-up care, 2 years of batteries2 and a 3-year warranty covering loss and damage3
- A low price guarantee - If you find the same hearing aid at another local provider for a lower price, Amplifon will beat that price by 5%4
- 100% money-back guarantee if not completely satisfied. No restocking or return fees.
- Maximum of 80 cells per device per year.
- Some exclusions apply. Limited to a one-time claim for loss and damage. Deductibles may apply.
- Amplifon offers a price match on most hearing devices. Some exclusions apply. Not available where prohibited by law. Visit amplifonusa.com or call for more details.