Hearing Aid Prices
Hearing aids can bring great joy and happiness to somebody immensely improving their quality of life. However, they can also be a significant financial investment. Therefore it is important when considering purchasing hearing aids to learn and understand about hearing aid prices and the factors that influence the cost of hearing aids.
Does size matter?
Hearing aid prices were historically dictated by their size, with smaller and more discreet hearing aids costing more than larger and more visible models. Nowadays, however, hearing aid prices are mainly reflective of the level of hearing aid technology being purchased (e.g. the internal electronics as opposed to external look and size). The more advanced the hearing aid technology, the higher the hearing aid price.
Unlike most other electronic devices (e.g. smartphones) the level of performance and benefit received from a hearing aid is not solely attributed to the technology level. This is because hearing aids are medical devices that are reliant upon the clinical expertise, knowledge and ongoing care of an Audiologist or Hearing Aid Dispenser for optimal benefit. For this reason an individual can experience different levels of benefit from the same hearing aid depending upon their hearing healthcare provider and Audiologist. As a result, the price of hearing aids can also significantly vary depending upon the healthcare provider and Audiologist, similarly to how the cost of dental implants can too vary depending on the dental clinic and Dentist providing the treatment.
For optimal benefit, hearing aids require regular maintenance, servicing and re-calibrating to ensure they are operating at their prescribed level. The cost of this aftercare is generally included within the price of hearing aids and depends on the level, frequency and duration it is performed. The level of aftercare provided can range from a simple and basic clean of the hearing aid (e.g. changing of wax filter) through to advanced testing in a ‘Hearing Aid Test Chamber’ to check it is still performing to specification. The frequency of aftercare can also vary from six monthly to yearly hearing aid service appointments (or indeed upon request only) either for a limited time, during the warranty period or for the lifetime of the hearing aids. Another factor that can influence hearing aid prices is the warranty period. A standard warranty is typically two years, although some hearing aid prices can include longer four or five year warranty periods. These extended warranties can help avoid the high cost of out of warranty hearing aid repairs and which only come with a six month guarantee from the manufacturers.
Quite often hearing aids manufacturers release firmware upgrades on their hearing aids. These upgrades can either add new or update existing features on the hearing aid to improve their effectiveness and efficiency. It is therefore important to check whether you are notified of any firmware upgrades that may be applicable when they become available and that they are included within the hearing aid price.
On first appearance hearing aid prices can appear very expensive and superficially high. However, once the cost of hearing aids is divided by the number of years they are expected to generally last and be worn for (i.e. approximately 5-7 years) they can be equivalent to pay monthly mobile phone contracts. The main difference, of course, is that payment for hearing aids is generally made upfront in full at the time of the fitting and not spread over many months, not unless they are purchased under a finance scheme if this is being offered by the hearing healthcare provider.
For example, a pair of entry level hearing aids cost around £1,190.00 and should expect to last as previously mentioned a minimum of 5 years. This equates to approximately £19.80 per month. On the opposite end of the spectrum, a pair of premium hearing aids can cost up to £3,990.00 which equates to £66.50 per month over the same 5 year period.
Importantly, it shouldn’t be forgotten that hearing aids are worn continuously throughout the day, 365 days a year, and that the price includes the professional services of a qualified healthcare professional to prescribe and provide the necessary aftercare.