With publication of the long-awaited final OTC hearing aid rule, effective October 17, 2022, public and media interest in hearing aids – and specifically the cost of hearing aids – has been front and center. With so much information swirling around, we wanted to review information on the cost of hearing aids, the options that are available today at many price points, and other helpful information.
Do Hearing Aids really cost $10,000?
Contrary to multiple recent articles, the average price of prescription hearing aids purchased through a hearing professional range from $1,400 to $4,000, not $10,000, as several commentators have asserted as the average. The price of hearing aids is dependent on the level of technology (the more advanced and sophisticated, the higher the price), extra features, and associated professional services. It is true that you can pay more than $4,000, but don’t be deceived into thinking that more expensive technology is the only option.
The Device is Only Part of the Equation
The overall cost of hearing aids is dependent upon the type of device and services provided. The manufacturing cost of a hearing aid accounts for less than half of the total cost, while the remaining sum may include professional services, such as initial consultation, evaluation, fitting, customized molding, testing appointments, adjustments, warranty, and follow-ups. Those follow-up services may include maintenance for your device, cleaning, and repair for the duration of the device warranty. As stated before, the level of technology and additional optional features impacts the cost of the device. For more on those features, keep reading!
Not Just Pieces of Plastic
Another inaccuracy being circulated today is that hearing aids are no more than pieces of plastic with small microphones and speakers. Today’s hearing aids are sophisticated medical devices that pack a lot of technology into a small, discreet package. Importantly, today’s technology provides clear, rich sound quality and better speech understanding in noisy environments through advancements like directional microphones that help you hear the sounds that you want, not just amplify everything around you.
Many of today’s hearing aids include Bluetooth streaming for phone calls or watching television. Downloadable apps are also available for many hearing aid brands so you can stream calls or music from your cell phone, control volume and sound profiles from the palm of your hand, or even troubleshoot and adjust settings through remote assistance provided by your hearing professional. Rechargeable batteries have become a popular option in many hearing aid styles and can keep a hearing aid powered throughout the day. All equipped within the same small case, hearing aids may also include features like artificial intelligence to learn and respond to your environment, health monitors, fall detection, and more.
Taking Steps and Making Strides
There are many reasons people may not take steps to address their hearing loss, including a sense that they hear “well enough,” hesitation around stigma, and cost. There are options out there to fit individual lifestyles and budgets, and additional options to choose from once OTC hearing aids hit the market later this Fall. To understand the importance of addressing hearing loss and learn more about treatment options – whether OTC or prescription – that may provide a benefit for you, visit hearing.org or contact a hearing professional.