What do hearing aids cost, and why are they so expensive?
When we meet with a patient to discuss hearing aids for the first time, it’s not uncommon to get some pushback. After all, hearing aids can be a big lifestyle change and an even bigger investment.
But what do hearing aids actually cost? This is a loaded question, and it really varies depending on the brand, style of device, where you live, and if you have insurance benefits to help cover costs. But, even with these differences, the full cost of hearing aids almost always consists of upfront costs, maintenance costs, cost of batteries, and more.
Let’s take a deeper dive into these costs and try to understand why hearing aids can be so expensive.
Upfront costs of hearing aids
The big reason folks think hearing aids cost so much is because of the upfront costs, or what you’ll pay right out of the gate when you decide to get a pair of devices from your audiologist. While it may seem like a lot, there are quite a few line items included in this upfront cost that make it a little easier to understand the high price.
First, you’re paying for the devices themselves, including materials (like microprocessors and microphones), technology, and research. The amount of time and resources that go into the research and development of hearing aids is huge, so manufacturers need to charge a higher price to recoup those costs. Ultimately, the research and technology costs are meant to benefit you, the hearing aid wearer, by making hearing aids more versatile, comfortable, and overall better at doing their job.
On top of the device cost, you’re probably paying for some initial hearing tests and exams with a certified professional before they even recommend a hearing aid for treatment, and on top of that, the initial fitting and adjustments will require appointments, too.
With how big of an investment hearing aids are, many people also choose to invest in a warranty plan to cover their devices should something break or happen to them, but it does add a little extra upfront cost.
Maintenance costs of hearing aids
After the initial investment in devices, exams, and warranties, you’ll probably face some additional costs throughout the life of your hearing aids.
Ongoing adjustments and cleaning are two of the most frequent of these costs, as you should be seeing your hearing aid specialist 3-4 times per year for an inspection and cleaning. During these appointments, you may discover issues that require repair, adding to that ongoing maintenance cost.
Battery costs for hearing aids
Another ongoing expense for hearing aids is, of course, batteries, because your devices need power to work, right? Depending on the type of device you wear (and therefore the type of battery your device takes), you may spend more or less than the average cost.
Because some types of batteries can last longer, your cost per month or year on batteries may differ from another person, but, for the most part, the cost per battery pack is largely the same across the types.
If you choose to use a rechargeable battery for your devices (and if your device will take a rechargeable battery), this may add to the upfront cost of your devices but could save you a little money in the long run. Check out our blog on rechargeable batteries to learn more about this option.
Hearing aids often cause a bit of sticker shock when we talk to our patients, but it’s important to remember that treating hearing loss is about more than just hearing. Untreated hearing loss can cause an array of other health problems, like dementia or depression, and folks with untreated hearing loss actually spend more on health care than the investment of a hearing aid.
If you’re already a hearing aid wearer, the maintenance and battery costs are probably more relevant to you, but did you know that you can buy batteries and even cleaning wipes for your devices right on the Beltone website?
Check out the online shop to order your next set of batteries or check out some of our other tech and accessories.