While you might think hearing aids would get less expensive as time goes by, that’s not really the case. Unlike televisions, computers, and other tech, hearing aids are still quite expensive. Some pairs can even set you back thousands of dollars. Medicare is often little to no help, and even most private insurance companies won’t pay for them either. (You should, however, call your insurance company. Sometimes they can help provide discounts.)
So, how can you cut costs without cutting into your ability to hear? We have some tips for you.
Consider Over the Counter Devices
You know the reading glasses you find at the drugstore? There’s a hearing aid equivalent. Unfortunately, it’s not nearly as cheap.
While personal sound amplification products – or PSAPs – aren’t for everyone, they can perhaps help some. Unfortunately, they’re only good if you have mild hearing loss, and you do get what you pay for with them. Most of the ones that do a good job of canceling out background noise are around $200 to $300. Still, if you have minimal hearing loss, a pair of PSAPs could help.
You should still have an ear exam, however, in case your hearing loss is treatable without a device. Also, if PSAPs don’t work, don’t rule out devices prescribed by an audiologist.
Curb Costs by Unbundling
Avoid going to an audiologist that bundles the cost of exams with the cost of hearing aids. Instead, try to pay for services as you go and buy your hearing aids separately. You may have to pay for each follow-up visit, but you’ll avoid spending money on services you don’t need.
Shop Around Online
Once you’ve had an exam, instead of settling for what they can sell you in office, shop around a little. Most of the time you’ll end up paying anywhere from $2,500 to $6,000 for a pair of hearing aids. That is, if you buy them from your audiologist.
Truth is, even high-end hearing aids aren’t that expensive to make. Therefore, what you’re paying for is the service you’re receiving. And while you can try to negotiate, it’s often easier to find a better deal elsewhere. It’s not unheard of to find a better deal through a wholesale club like Costco or Sam’s Club either.
Don’t Upgrade, Recalibrate
First of all, you should never buy the top-of-the-line anything, since you’re paying a premium for that luxury. Try things until you find one that is suitable. Once you’ve found hearing aids that work, instead of upgrading them to the latest and greatest, have them recalibrated instead.
The odds that a new pair will be all that much better are slim. Most people only notice minor improvements when opting for a newer pair. That’s why upgrading every year or two is often a waste of money.