The market for hearing aids has really boomed these past few years with cost-effective, high-performance options. The increase in options has led to a lot more competition which in turn led to price decreases. Search below for some fantastic hearing aid bargains on the market.
With nearly 15% of the American population experiencing some form of hearing loss, the importance of affordable hearing aids cannot be overstated. The high price of hearing aids often hinders individuals from getting the help they need, but there are avenues that can lead to affordable, high-quality hearing aid solutions in the United States. In this guide, we'll explore where and how to find inexpensive hearing aids without compromising on quality.
1. Online Retailers
The rise of e-commerce has revolutionized the hearing aid industry by making devices more accessible and affordable. Online retailers such as MDHearingAid, Hear.com, and Eargo offer an array of options that are substantially cheaper than traditional models. They offer a simple process where customers take an online hearing test, select a device, and have it delivered to their doorstep. Some even offer free trials and extended warranties. By eliminating middlemen and brick-and-mortar stores, online retailers can drastically reduce costs and pass those savings onto the customer.
2. Wholesale Clubs
Wholesale clubs such as Costco, Sam's Club, and BJ's offer members discounted rates on hearing aids. Costco, for instance, has its own line of Kirkland Signature hearing aids. They provide free hearing tests and follow-up appointments, adding further value to their offerings. However, to access these services, a membership fee is required, which may offset some of the savings.
3. Non-Profit Organizations
Numerous non-profit organizations strive to provide affordable hearing aids to those in need. The Starkey Hearing Foundation’s Hear Now program provides hearing aids to low-income individuals who meet certain eligibility criteria. The Lions Club International also runs a hearing aid recycling program, providing used and refurbished hearing aids to individuals who cannot afford new ones.
4. Government Assistance Programs
Government programs, especially for veterans, seniors, and low-income individuals, provide hearing aids either free of cost or at a substantially lower price. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers free hearing aids to eligible veterans. Medicaid, a state and federal program, covers hearing aids in many states, especially for children and sometimes for adults depending upon the state. The Older Americans Act also supports local Area Agencies on Aging that may help seniors get hearing aids at a discount.
5. University Clinics
Some universities with audiology programs offer hearing tests and hearing aids at reduced prices. These clinics are often run by graduate students under the supervision of licensed audiologists, providing quality care while giving students hands-on experience. Notably, the costs are typically lower than at a private practice.
6. Manufacturer Discount Programs
Certain hearing aid manufacturers offer discount programs for qualifying individuals. For example, the Miracle-Ear Foundation’s Gift of Sound program provides free hearing aids to individuals who demonstrate personal inability to financially provide for their hearing health needs.
7. Health Insurance
While not all health insurance plans cover hearing aids, some do. Hence, it's essential to check your policy. Many Medicare Advantage plans offer hearing benefits that Original Medicare does not, and some private insurance companies provide partial coverage for hearing aids.
8. Payment Plans
If paying the full cost upfront is not feasible, many hearing aid providers offer payment plans, often with low or no interest rates. This allows you to spread the cost over several months or even years, making the hearing aids more affordable on a month-by-month basis.
9. Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids
With the passing of the Over-the-Counter (OTC) Hearing Aid Act, consumers are likely to see more affordable OTC hearing aids at drugstores in the near future. While not yet widely available, these devices will be tailored for those with mild to moderate hearing loss.
Affordable hearing aids are becoming more available thanks to online retailers, wholesale clubs, non-profit organizations, government programs, university clinics, manufacturer discounts, health insurance, and payment plans. The cost should no longer prevent individuals from accessing the hearing help they need. Before purchasing any hearing aid, it's crucial to have your hearing checked by a healthcare provider to understand your specific needs. Also, remember that the best hearing aid is not necessarily the most expensive one but the one that fits your hearing loss, lifestyle, and budget.