Affordability is a concern for many as they shop for hearing aids. The average age of first-time hearing aid users is 70 years old, a time when many individuals have transitioned to a fixed income during retirement. Even for users not on a fixed income, the cost of hearing aids can be prohibitive since these devices are not always covered by insurance. According to a recent study by Consumer Reports, the average price for a single hearing aid is about $2,560, or $5,120 a pair purchased individually. Buying hearing aids as a pair dropped the price per device to $2,340 or $4,680 for a pair.
But in practice, the real cost of a pair of hearing aids can range anywhere from $3,000-$10,000! What leads to this massive range? In this blog, we will explore the factors that impact the price of a hearing aid and the benefits of buying from a clinic versus online.
Hearing aid prices are going down if you buy online or buy direct from a retailer like Costco, but this approach has significant risks, including the risk of wasting your money. If you do not consult with a professional about the right kind of hearing aid for you, the choice you make based on price might not work best for your needs. Lower-cost hearing aids may not have the same high-quality hardware and customization features as the ones you get from an audiologist or licensed clinic.
The one-time expense of purchasing higher-quality hearing aids can be significant, but the expense is balanced out when they provide life-improving technology that doesn’t have to be replaced quickly. It’s not worth the savings if you buy a cheaper hearing aid that you never end up using or have to replace the devices more often.
Medicare Part A and Part B do not cover hearing aids, but some Medicare Supplements like Part C do cover hearing exams. These Medicare Supplements may offset or fully cover the cost of a single hearing aid. The cost of a pair of hearing aids is unlikely to be covered, even at the lowest end of the cost spectrum. Private insurers also commonly do not cover the full cost of a pair of hearing aids but may cover one hearing aid or part of the costs.
Another benefit of working with a clinic or audiologist to buy hearing aids is their knowledge of insurance and potential access to alternative funding sources to cover (or at least finance) the necessary devices.
Here is a list to help you compare hearing aid prices across the industry-leading brands, as well as the different features that cause each to cost more or less than the others:
Siemens offers a full line of hearing aids that span the gamut of technology available on the market. From basic behind-the-ear models, to its Signia line that offers wireless streaming of cell phone and television audio through Bluetooth, Siemens hearing aids serve users with all levels of hearing loss. Prices for Siemens hearing aids range from $1,299-$3,000 per ear.
Oticon hearing aids are developed based on extensive research into how our brains process sound. The company’s research with end-users has indicated a 15% improvement in speech understanding when background noise is present, especially using its artificial intelligence network MoreSound Intelligence™, which uses AI to fill in gaps of sound processing. Prices for Oticon hearing aids range from $1,250-$3,800 per ear.
Phonak was the first hearing aid company to innovate audio streaming in hearing aids back in 2018. Aside from universal Bluetooth connectivity, Phonak hearing aids also boast a long battery life and multiple forms like in the ear and over the ear hearing aids. A universal smartphone app allows users to adjust their own settings in real-time. Prices for Phonak hearing aids range from $1,300-$3,700 per ear.
ReSound hearing aids deliver clear, natural sound quality for users of all hearing loss levels. With an extended dynamic range and great frequency response, these hearing aids boast a long battery life and many models include a portable charging case. These hearing aids also come with a built-in Tinnitus Sound Generator (TSG) to mask any ringing, humming, or buzzing, as well as built-in white noise generators to help users relax. Prices for Resound Hearing Aids range from $1,700-$4,000 per ear.
Widex hearing aids leverage AI-enabled functionality, SoundSense Learn, to let users compare two different sound profiles and select what is best for their current environment and needs. The associated app also includes controls for directional hearing if users need to focus on one particular source of sound. Wind noise reduction and background noise reduction are among other features of many Widex models. In addition to white noise, these hearing aids also integrate counseling techniques for relaxation and sleep through the ZEN app. Prices for Widex hearing aids range from $1,400-$3,600 per ear.
Starkey hearing aids are the only American-made hearing aids among the top five world manufacturers. They were the first company to develop invisible hearing aids that sit within the ear canal. They also innovated fall-detection technology which is integrated with the hearing aid to alert emergency professionals if the wearer should experience a fall. In 2020, they even released a table microphone to help those with hearing loss hear better in groups. Prices for Starkey hearing aids range from $1,300-$4,400 per ear.
When choosing a hearing aid, the best course of action is to try out a few options and see what hearing aid works best for you. Visit one of our convenient locations to learn about the newest styles and technology, and arrive at the perfect intersection of price point and functionality. Find a hearing aid clinic near you and schedule an appointment today!