How to Beat the High Price of Hearing-Aids
Are you someone who struggles with hearing aid, yet have still been putting off purchasing a hearing aid due to their exorbitant costs? If so, you’re not alone. There are nearly 30 million Americans with hearing loss, but only one-third of U.S. adults over the age of 50 who would benefit from a device have ever used one.
Why do so many people avoid or delay purchasing a device that can so greatly improve their quality of life? HIGH PRICES. The average price of a single hearing aid is $2,300, according to a 2015 report from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. And most people need two devices (one for each ear).
And the high sticker price is not because hearing aids are expensive to make. Rather, it’s simple, unjustifiable inflation. In a recent study, Consumer Reports noted that where the wholesale price of the aids could be verified, the average retail markup was a hefty 117 percent.
In addition to price inflation, there is also a lack of consumer choice that further adds to the high costs of hearing aids.
“One reason the prices remain high is that a fairly small group of companies controls the market,” says Dan G. Blazer, the J.P. Gibbons professor of psychiatry emeritus at Duke University Medical Center. In fact, just six global manufacturers control 90 percent of the market.
Blazer also contends there’s a lack of transparency amongst hearing aid companies, “including transparency of the cost of production of hearing aids compared to the cost to distributors.” Many hearing care professionals bundle all their costs into the final retail price. This includes not only manufacturer’s costs like materials and research and development, but also the expenses incurred by the provider: rent, salaries, training, licenses, diagnostic machines, marketing and ongoing patient support.
Despite the aforementioned factors that tend to make hearing aids so expensive, there still are some hearing aid providers who who offer devices at prices ranging from under $1,500 to under $500.
So how can a hard-of-hearing consumer bypass the high costs of hearing aids and instead find a device that fits within their budget? The answer is simple: Go online and do some research.
Once loathed, direct-to-consumer online sales are now being embraced by many of the global manufacturers and industry organizations. Consumers can even get their hearing tested at some manufacturer’s sites. They then buy a recommended hearing aid from the site and then take it to a professional in their area for a fitting fee in the range of $500 (A check of one website showed that the online price was about $700 less than the retail price.)
Finally, gone are the days when you had no choice but to spend thousands on a hearing aid. There is now far more choice on both device models and price thanks to the internet.
So start your online search today and find the exact same hearing aids you thought you couldn’t afford for a fraction of the price, and regain the quality of life you so greatly deserve.