Why Are Hearing Aids So Expensive? Dr. Nancy Provides A Comprehensive Breakdown [VIDEO]

09/21/2022 | Hearing Aids, Industry News, Patient Resources

In the past, hearing care professionals have not explained the costs involved in the quoted price, and that’s been a big part of the problem

Hi, I’m Dr. Nancy Duncan, and a question I’m often asked is, “Why are hearing aids so expensive?” My reply is always the same – define expensive because expensive means different things to different people.

And when people’s answers range between $5,000 and $12,000 a pair, it’s clear this is something we definitely need to address so that you and many others have the right information.

So, today I’m going to answer the question properly and perhaps dispel some myths in regard to hearing aid costs.

If you prefer to listen than read, I share my thoughts on the video below. If not… continue reading!

Let me start by saying hearing aids are not cheap per se. They’re an investment into a life made better through better hearing.

However, they don’t have to be as expensive as most people think they are.

We Have Some Explaining To Do…

Let me explain first, I want to apologize to all of you because we, as hearing care professionals, have not done a good job over the years of explaining the costs involved in the price that’s often quoted to you the patient, and that’s been a big part of the problem.

So, let me break it down a little bit further.

For many years, we quoted a large lump sum of money to you for devices. And I did this myself during the last five to ten years.

Many of us have started to itemize the cost. So, you can see that the price has been established, how that’s been done, and this has helped a bit, but let me break it down a bit more.

We all do things in life that require us to purchase an item, and then we need someone to provide the service along with it to make it work for us.

For example, if my car breaks down and it stops working, I could go to an AutoZone, purchase the parts, and attempt to fix my vehicle myself.

However, I know I don’t have the skillset or knowledge to do this.

I mean, let’s face it. I’d probably do a lot more walking if I tried…

But what most of us do is we take it to our trusted mechanic who assesses the problem, orders the correct part, fixes the issue, and then warranties the work for a certain amount of time. 

We are then charged a fee for the parts and then the labor, which is for their expertise and their time to make sure that this job is done right – and to make sure that I’m safe on the road.

Now, let me use the same example in the world of hearing aids.

Sure – you can go online and purchase a hearing aid, but without an appropriate and accurate hearing evaluation to start with, how would you know what prescription you needed? How would you know how to program the device?

Do you have the software and equipment needed to program that device for you? Probably not.

And that’s just a start.

Why Should You Visit A Hearing Care Professional?

Fitting a hearing aid is not just as simple as taking your test and putting it into the hearing device. I wish it were. Our brains are very much involved in this process and no two brains are alike.

You can take two people with the same hearing loss and their sound preferences will be wildly different. Their challenges with hearing will be different and their listening lifestyles will be vastly different. 

This is where your hearing care professional’s expertise and experience will come into play. They will know the right questions to ask to know where you are in the process of adapting to your new hearing device and where to set them to start, because it’s an ongoing process.

Are-Aids-Are-Right-For-You

The settings you start with are not the settings you end with. You will gradually get used to the hearing aid and get used to hearing all sounds again and want more volume along the way.

We do this during your 45-day trial period. So, as you can see, it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach.

So, let’s get back to that original question – why do hearing aids cost so much?

Well, the cost of the hearing aids alone would be the same pretty much no matter where you went.

However, when you see a hearing care professional to be fit, your experience will be significantly improved and the cost of their expertise is added into the cost of the devices.

As often, there are hours and hours spent to help you adjust to your new hearing devices along the way. For most new patients that I see, we spend on average three to four hours, spread out over several appointments during that initial 45 days.

And just to make you aware, the good news is in most states, if at the end of the 45-day trial period you’re not happy, you can return the devices for a full or partial refund, depending on the practice you’re working with.

Also, in many practices, in addition to the cost of the hearing devices and professional fitting fees, you do have an option to add on an aftercare plan and this will be added to your purchase.

So let me explain what I mean.

Why Regular Maintenance And Upkeep Are Essential

The use of your hearing devices doesn’t end at the end of your 45-day trial. That’s simply the beginning. Your hearing devices are only good to you if they’re functional. So, routine care and maintenance appointments are advised to help keep them up and running similar to how we do preventative maintenance on our cars by getting oil changes.

Also, your hearing inevitably will change during the time that you have your hearing devices. It is recommended that you have yearly evaluations to monitor your hearing and change a prescription as needed.

This is no different than what we do with our eyes – by having them checked yearly and our glasses prescription changed as needed.

You will have the option to pay for these items as you use them or purchase an aftercare plan upfront often at a savings for a certain number of years and it will include various other items, such as supplies, batteries, ear molds, etc.

Depending on the cost that you’ve paid and the practice that you’re working with, these plans create value and benefit to you, but will increase that upfront cost of your hearing devices.

So yes, your hearing aids may appear to be at face value more expensive than what you see advertised elsewhere. But when you break down what you’re getting with them, you may actually be saving money.

Then you may be a more successful hearing aid user who is seeing benefit in your everyday life, noticing improved relationships with friends and family and seeing better performance at work and have more self-confidence.

This is all because of better hearing, while others with devices that they’ve purchased solely on cost considerations alone have put theirs in their desk drawer and aren’t using them.

It’s very difficult to put a price on that.

A Couple Cups Of Coffee

It is recommended that you work closely with your hearing care practitioner to see what your needs and expectations are and to see what options will work best for you.

As I mentioned at the beginning, hearing aids aren’t cheap, but they’re often not as expensive as most people think.

If you look at how long you use them for, what the cost is, and that they’re worn daily during all of your waking hours, the cost breaks down to only about $5 to $10.

That’s the equivalent to a couple cups of coffee down at Starbucks!

I don’t know about you, but I think being able to hear well and enjoy your life to the fullest is worth $5 to $10 a day, and we think you’re worth it.

The First Place To Start

If you or a loved one is considering hearing aids, but feel conflicted with all of the different messages online, the best first step is to schedule a comprehensive hearing assessment with a professional audiologist.

This way, you can find out the exact status of your hearing health to help you determine your best next steps. The decision is up to you – we are just here to guide you to a healthier, happier life.

So, if you have any additional questions you’d like us to address, visit our resource page here, or find us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

Alternatively, click here to request a callback and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Thanks, and have a great day!

Do you know somebody that needs to see this? Why not share it?

Nancy Duncan, Au.D.

Dr. Nancy Duncan graduated from Somerset High, Somerset, MA in 1991 and received her B.S. in communication disorders and psychology from Worcester State College. Her master of science in audiology was awarded at the University of Arkansas in 1997, after which she worked for several private audiology practices in Arkansas, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. Returning to the area in 2003, Dr. Duncan founded Duncan Hearing Healthcare, allowing her to apply her passion to her community through rehabilitative audiology and individual patient care. She earned her clinical doctorate in audiology degree from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (now Salus University) in 2005. Her passion for her family and community is an integral part of what drives her to provide trustworthy, professional hearing healthcare to her patients.

    Request a Callback

    Would you like to speak to one of our hearing care professionals to discuss your hearing health challenges? Then simply complete this form and we’ll call you back.

    FREE DOWNLOAD: HOW TO ENCOURAGE A STUBBORN MAN TO GET HIS HEARING TESTED

     

    Fall River

    508-674-3334

    Hyannis

    508-862-0255

    Dartmouth

    508-910-2221

    Patient Care Coordinator at a Fast-Growing and Locally Respected Hearing Care Practice

    This isn’t just a “job”. It’s an opportunity to be part of a locally respected and passionate group of people that have built a stellar reputation as the most caring, trustworthy, and experienced audiological groups in Fall River, Dartmouth, and Hyannis.

    We’re now seeking somebody that wants to join our “family” and shows the same commitment that we show our staff and be part of shaping our future, as a Patient Care Coordinator.

    We have 3 positions to fill, 1 full time, 1 part time with the opportunity to grow into a full time role, and 1 part time.

    ==

    If you want to know more about who we are and whether our company culture is right for you, before further investing your time in this job advert, then please click here.

    ==

    As you’re still reading, you must like what you’ve seen.

    The truth is, we’ve developed a very special culture, and we’re absolutely committed to maintaining it. The person that we hire must be a great fit, and we’re prepared to wait until the perfect match comes along.

    Although your experience plays a key role in this process, your personality traits and attitude are the number one priority. If this is how your co-workers and friends would describe you, then we may be the ideal match:

    • Always happy, smiles a lot, positive attitude, always a pleasure to be around.
    • Friendly, warm, an extrovert, a people person – this comes across the very first time you meet someone, even on the telephone.
    • Patient, compassionate, helpful especially with older people. Even temperament, calm, always pleasant, unflappable. Has a knack for being able to turn a frown into a smile.
    • Committed, dedicated, a great teammate, pitches in without being asked, puts team accomplishments ahead of individual accomplishments.
    • Accurate, detailed, gets things right, double checks their own work, makes very few mistakes
    • Owns it, credits others for successes, and accepts responsibility for failures. Always finds a constructive way to solve a problem.
    • Coachable, doesn’t get defensive, accepts feedback with a positive attitude. Always looking for ways to grow and improve.
    • Reliable, dependable, doesn’t just arrive on time, but often comes in a little early to make sure they’re prepared for the day; willing to stay late when there’s work that needs to be done.

    These statements also describe the people you’ll be working alongside, meaning that you’ll quickly discover that this is much more than a group of co-workers, it feels like a family.

    We have spoken about whether you’re the right fit for this role and you’re still reading which indicates that you have the personality traits/attitude that we’re looking for. So, let’s now look at the specific duties of the role.

    As a Patient Care Coordinator the right candidate will play a critical role in helping deliver patient success.

    You will be playing a critical role in helping patients and being the problem solver that ensures patients remain happy, the audiologists can deliver hearing healthcare, and the business runs seamlessly.

    Duties include:

    • Scheduling & confirming patient appointments, check-ups and physician referrals.
    • Ultilize electronic database system
    • Managing phone calls, checking messages, returning missed calls, changing greeting when necessary
    • Checking patients in & out of appointments
    • Working directly with insurance companies to determine patient specific coverage and understanding current HIPAA laws
    • Insurance billing
    • Data entry & record keeping
    • Troubleshooting minor hearing aid issues
    • Collecting and recording payments

    If the above sounds like the kind of role that you have been waiting for, at the type of practice that you want to be part of, then here’s what we’re looking for from you.

    • Strong interest in patient care and hearing health
    • Knowledge of Microsoft Office
    • Experience with electronic database systems

    You’re still here, so you must like the sound of our company culture, believe you’re the right personality fit for the role, and have the experience/qualifications that we’re looking for.

    Finally, let’s discuss the wage and benefits of being part of this journey.

    The salary is negotiable based on experience and includes a structured career-journey for growth that can see our experienced members of the team working their way through different wage brackets, as well as benefiting from a high-rewarding commission structure.

    Additional benefits include:

    • Life insurance
    • Paid time off
    • Retirement plan

    The working schedule is:

    • 8 hour shift for full time employees
    • Day shift
    • Monday to Friday

    If you believe that this is the right fit for both you and us, then we would love to talk.

    Please send your resume over as well as any additional information that you believe will make you stand out and capture our attention.

    We very much look forward to hearing from you.