What Does a Hearing Aid Cost?

What does a hearing aid cost? At the moment, nobody really knows.

We’ve heard anecdotally about cheaper hearing aids, more places to buy them, non-traditional hearing aids, and unprecedented insurance coverage. Hearing Tracker, HLAA and I put together this survey to see if we could spot some trends.

Please fill out this survey so we have a better idea about the state of the business. Hearing Tracker will report on the results in a few weeks.

And please share it with other hearing aid users. Here’s the link again:

30 thoughts on “What Does a Hearing Aid Cost?

  1. Product: Liberty Engage 32 Channel from Sams Club 2 units one for each ear.

    Purchased September 2016

    Price $2000

    I am not satisfied with the performance of these units. But went along with unsuccessful remedies until they finally were out of warranty in regards to a refund of purchase price.

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  2. Finding the right hearing aid for me, and a price I could pay, has been one of the most frustrating things I have ever done. Hearing aids don’t seem to be regulated by anyone, my insurance was pretty much useless, it seemed all the providers wanted was to make money and only sell me the top of the line product, even if I didn’t need it. FINALLY I found an audiologist who took the time to tell me about the different kinds and levels of hearing aids so I could make an informed choice. For the time being, I have purchased Costco’s own Kirkland brand with the 6 month guarantee I can return it for all of my money back…for ANY reason! Seemed like a good place to start as a new user.

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  3. I have sever to profound loss and replaced my 8 year old hearing aids about 6 months ago. As in the past I went to Costco. Fortunately the Costco I purchased from had an audiologist on staff and I was very pleased with the whole process. I purchased resound Cala’s with Bluetooth. 6 month return and 3 year warrantee. I paid $2,600 for the pair and molds were $40.00 each.

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  4. Thank you for doing this! I will be very interested to see the results of the survey, especially the
    part about prices and insurance coverage.

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  5. As an audiologist, I for one try to help patients find a solution to help with their hearing loss that will provide them the best technology possible for their lifestyle and budget. Would I like to see everyone be able to have the top of the line instruments with the most aggressive noise reduction features, most channels for speech clarity, and connectivity? Absolutely! But I also know not every patient can afford those hearing instruments. My goal is to help people hear and in order to do that, I must offer various devices in different price ranges. On so many posts about hearing aids, there is one common theme that seems to be left out of the equation when it comes to “what do hearing aids cost?” People need to remember it has taken 8-10 years of research and development for those devices which continues to evolve as we learn more about how the brain interprets sounds and processes that information to make sense of the conversation. The cost also includes the overhead of the facility, staff, insurance, equipment, etc. Then there is the costs the audiologist (or hearing instrument specialist) incurs with office over head (rent, electricity, phone lines, internet, supplies, equipment, computers, staff salaries, advertising, postage, health insurance, liability insurance, clearing house for billing insurance, fighting denied insurance claims, shipping costs from manufacturers, the cost of the hearing aids, warranties and repairs, and the list goes). It costs money to run a business. A business cannot survive if a profit is not made. A business cannot survive if services are given away for free.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Lori, it’s good to have that perspective here. I love my audiologist and I”m pretty fond of my hearing aid and cochlear implant too — but I’m lucky enough to have a good audiologist near me, and to be able to pay for $3000 hearing aids every few years. (My insurance paid for the C.I.).)This survey is an attempt to get a real life sampling of what people are buying as more options become available. Many in the hearing-loss world would love it if audiologists were not so tied to hearing aid sales in order to make a living. Auditory rehab is very important for many getting hearing aids for the first time or as their hearing loss worsens. Right now it’s not economically viable for most audiologists to offer that. But it would be great for everyone — audiologists and consumers alike — if it could be.

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    • I understand what you are saying. However, why is the cost of ‘the top of the line from 5 years ago’ still cost very close to what the top of the line for this year costs? I had a difficult time finding anyone who would even tall to me about less expensive hearing aids. Just kept pushing the top of the line. FINALLY found one audiologist say I probably didn’t even need everything the top of the line had to offer.
      Thanks for all your information.

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  6. What does a hearing aid cost?

    What does a brick of steel cost? About $3.

    Now, take that bring and hand it off to a blacksmith, and s/he can us it to make about four horseshoes for a horse. They’re then worth about $15 each, so your $3 brick of steel is now worth $60 with the finished product. It’s the same amount of steel. The difference is the blacksmith.

    Take that same brick of steel and turn it over to a manufacturer of razor blades. With it, s/he can make about 400 razor blades, each worth about $1. Now that brick of steel is worth about $400. It’s the same amount of steel. The difference is the razor blade manufacturer and the equipment in the factory that created the finished product.

    Take that same brick of steel and turn it over to a hearing aid manufacturer. With it, s/he can use it to make transistors, circuit boards, computer chips, microphones, receivers, battery contacts, etc., and with all those tiny parts build hundreds of hearing aids. It’s the same amount of steel. The difference is the research and development put into a finished product that serves to improve the quality of life for hundreds of people, allowing them to interact with others, enjoy music, hear the sounds of nature, and participate in the hearing world.

    How much is that worth? To many, it’s priceless.

    Many people think that hearing aids are overpriced. They can be–if the consumer isn’t careful. In the above example, it’s focused on the product, but it takes a lot more than just the hearing aid to ensure the success of the person using it. Audiologists and hearing instrument specialists are more like physical therapists than sales people. At least the good ones are. They help to rehabilitate and injury that impairs the patient’s social life, financial performance, academics, and overall ability to communicate–the foundation of all relationships. The service they provide adds value to the product.

    The greatest key to success with hearing aids, regardless of the type, is for the patient to use their provider–audiologist or hearing instrument specialist–as much as possible to achieve satisfaction. It is their job to help you hear better–but it’s your job to ask for it and tell them when you’re having problems.

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    • Thanks for writing Scott. Your perspective is similar to that of Lori Kay, above, and my response to you would be about the same as my response to her. I love my audiologist and I love my $3000 hearing aid, but I’m lucky to have the resources to make that possible. This survey is intended to be informational, not to be biased toward any one hearing aid solution. We’re trying to get a sense of is what people are buying, and from whom.

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      • I think Scott had it right when he said it is up to the consumer to keep trying to get the best hearing aid and service for their own needs, by asking questions and going back until they are satisfied with what they are purchasing. I found it very frustrating to have to go to 3 different places before I felt confident in knowing what I was purchasing… Hence, I ended up going to Costco where I got the best guarantee and return option as a first time consumer. Now I have 6 months to decide if this is the best option for me.

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      • Make sure they remedy complaints to your satisfaction before falling out of the money back portion of your warranty!!!

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    • But please explain why my Oticon Opns cost $6500 and the VA, IHS, etc get them for a few hundred $.

      Why not unbundle the cost of aids from the cost of ongoing support, at a minimum.

      I could have purchased my aids for a significantly lower cost, but I knew from prior experience that it would take several sound adjustments from my local audiologist. But I would rather have paid for the adjustments on a fee basis.

      I am a retired CEO of a software company and know what software and hardware development costs

      Liked by 1 person

      • I wrote that more than a year ago and I imagine the price may have come down. It’s hard to imagine that a lot of people would want hearing aids that turn down the heat or start the coffee maker, and I think that’s what these smart hearing aids are designed to do.
        Unbundling is what many think is the obvious and correct solution, including me. Because I have severe hearing loss, I know I need the package with unlimited followup. But someone with normal age related hearing loss probably does not, and should not be paying a couple of thousand dollars for hearing aid services when they only need one or two followups. Thanks for writing.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. The aesthetics, ergonomics which the designer has to consider makes it costly I guess. We need to work on it to make it affordable for the poor.

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    • I do agree that good audiological services make a big difference. But, as I said earlier, a lot of people simply can’t afford a hearing aid — the average cost according to the National Academy of Sciences, is $2450. That’s the AVERAGE, and most people need two hearing aids. Insurance rarely covers the cost, and Medicare never does. So we really do need to offer less costly alternatives. It would be great if we could change the system so that audiological services on their own would be reimbursed. That way an audiologist could afford to program a hearing aid bought online or a big box store (for a fee, which would be reimbursed) and maybe offer counseling, rehabilitation and all the other things that make a hearing aid effective — Without having to charge almost $5000 for a pair of hearing aids.

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  8. Most reputable hearing practices do offer less costly hearing aids. The average cost may be $2450 per aid, but there are good quality aids available for half that price. There are trade offs with features such as noise reduction or fidelity, but for someone with limited finances they are still a good option.

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