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Hearing aids range significantly in cost, starting from about $1,000 and going up to as much as $6,000. Often, additional expenses include hearing tests, follow-ups, and ongoing support from healthcare professionals, including audiologists.
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), about
Hearing aids can be costly, but many hearing aid manufacturers cater to people with different budgets by offering models that vary in performance, features, and price.
In some cases, individuals may get help with the costs associated with hearing aids. For instance, some insurance plans may cover some or all of these expenses.
The National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) reports that less than
According to the
These devices magnify sound vibrations, making a person’s sensory cells better detect them and enabling clearer hearing. They can also better understand a conversational partner in noisy situations, such as during a crowded social gathering.
However, hearing aids cannot restore a person’s hearing. Additionally, it may take people several months to adjust to their hearing devices. It is also important to note that hearing aids will amplify all sounds, including background noise.
Some hearing aid manufacturers offer online hearing tests with an option to purchase their products online after a doctor or hearing care professional has reviewed the test results.
However, some manufacturers only provide product information on their websites. In these instances, individuals need to visit a hearing care professional and authorized retailer who can offer in-person testing and fitting of a specific hearing aid.
Read our complete buyer’s guide to the best hearing aids online here.
Hearing aids vs. personal sound amplification products (PSAPs)
The intention of hearing aids is to
The FDA does not regulate PSAPs in the same way as hearing aids because they are not for treating health conditions.
Like prescription hearing aids, over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids are medical devices that make sounds louder and are subject to regulation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A
This ruling created a new category of OTC hearing aids specifically designed for adults over 18 who feel they may have mild to moderate hearing loss. Establishing this direct-to-consumer category was part of a broader effort to make hearing healthcare more
Researchers have found that
OTC hearing aids could lower the costs of hearing care. President Biden stated that the average American could save up to $3,000 on a pair of hearing aids due to the FDA’s new ruling.
OTC hearing aids are not a good choice for people with serious hearing loss or hearing loss due to injury, illness, or some other medical condition.
The following table describes the
|Prescription hearing aids||OTC hearing aids|
|Requires a prescription||yes||no|
|Requires a hearing exam||yes||no|
|Requires a fitting by an audiologist||yes||no|
|Suitable hearing loss||mild-to-severe||mild-to-moderate|
Hearing aids vary in price. In the U.S., they can range from about $1,000 to more than $6,000, but the average cost is close to
Companies often sell hearing aids as part of a bundle that can include:
- the hearing aid
- any necessary hearing tests
- hearing aid fitting
- further adjustments to the hearing aid
- routine cleaning
To help save on costs, some companies allow a person to purchase a hearing aid with fewer benefits in their bundle or only pay for the product itself.
According to a
What influences hearing aid price?
The main factor influencing hearing aid price is the device’s technology. Over time, consumer electronics and technology have become more advanced, with product prices coming down.
However, the cost of hearing aids has seemingly stayed level, which could be due to technological advances and the inclusion of extra features over just a few years.
Additionally, features such as Bluetooth connectivity and tinnitus masking will often make the device more expensive.
Behind-the-ear (BTE) aids
BTE hearing aids are the most common type of hearing aid. These devices house their working parts in an outer shell that sits behind the ear.
The sound transmits through a hollow plastic tube, or an earmold, in the ear canal. This type of hearing aid is suitable for people of all ages with mild to profound hearing loss.
An example of a BTE aid is the MDHearing AIR hearing aid costing $1,198.98 for a pair.
In-the-canal (ITC) aids
ITC and completely-in-canal hearing aids are suitable for mild to moderately severe hearing loss.
Both of these types sit in the ear canal and are discreet options. However, because of their small size, these hearing aids are not as powerful and cannot pick up as many noises as BTE devices. Additionally, people may find it difficult to adjust and remove these devices.
An example of an ITC aid is the Eargo 7 hearing aid costing $2,950 for a pair.
In-the-ear (ITE) aids
ITE hearing aids fit completely inside the outer ear and are suitable for mild to severe hearing loss.
These devices may also have additional features, such as telecoil, which can help people understand phone conversations more easily.
However, hearing care specialists need to remove and replace the device casings as a person grows. Therefore, ITE aids may not be suitable for children.
An example of an ITE aid is the Widex Moment hearing aid. However, people will need to contact a hearing specialist to learn the cost of this product.
Various different factors contribute to the high cost of hearing aids:
The cost of hearing aids often includes the cost of fitting the device to a person.
In general, the company providing the hearing aid will physically fit the aid to the person’s ear. In some cases, this may even involve a mold being taken off the ear.
Additionally, the company frequently programs the hearing aid specifically to a person’s needs. This takes some time and is different for each individual. In some cases, hearing aids may also require adjustments if they are not quite right.
Repair and maintenance
Typically, hearing aids come with a warranty period, which covers repairs and replacements during the time frame. Therefore, hearing aids may be more expensive to accommodate for these potential repair and maintenance costs.
Other factors may increase the cost. For example, many hearing aid packages include a six-month maintenance check. Some manufacturers and suppliers may charge for this separately.
Some of the most expensive hearing aids will often include more advanced technological features. For example, Bluetooth can allow users to connect their hearing aids to their phones and other devices, allowing them to hear the audio from their devices more clearly.
Another feature that may cause the cost of hearing aids to increase is artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Many hearing aid manufacturers claim this can make a person’s voice sound clearer as it can automatically increase the sound of a person’s voice whilst decreasing background noise.
Smaller and more discreet hearing aids can be more expensive as manufacturers usually need to tailor these specifically to a person’s ear. Creating these hearing aids can involve taking a mold of the ear and producing custom aids, which can sharply increase costs.
Additionally, hearing aids with rechargeable batteries may be more expensive than those with disposable batteries.
According to a 2022 survey, technological advances in hearing aids, including rechargeable batteries, noise-canceling AI, and wireless connectivity, are becoming increasingly common. This may mean the costs of hearing aids continue to rise.
Most health insurance policies do not cover hearing aids or the cost of examinations for fitting them.
However, some insurance plans, such as Medicare Advantage, offer optional hearing benefits at an additional cost. These plans often include coverage for hearing tests, hearing aid fittings, and the device itself.
Original Medicare does not cover the cost of hearing aid devices or routine hearing tests. However, the plans do cover a hearing-and-balance examination from Medicare’s Part B benefits if a doctor says it is medically necessary. These exams can show whether a person needs medical treatment.
Individuals can check their health insurance plan documents to see whether their plan covers a hearing aid.
Healthcare plans that include hearing aid benefits can vary in coverage, which may include:
- coverage of the partial costs of a hearing aid up to a set amount
- coverage of the entire amount or a set amount per ear
- coverage of the partial cost of a hearing aid when a person purchases it from a specific healthcare provider
- a discount on hearing aids from specific healthcare providers
If a person’s healthcare insurance does not cover the cost of a hearing aid, they can consider other options to help with these expenses.
Most hearing aid manufacturers offer finance plans. These are often flexible and allow people to pay for their hearing aid over time. Typically, these payment plans run over 12–60 months.
An individual can speak with their audiology specialist regarding finance options. Some companies may offer a payment plan with very low or no interest.
The Hearing Industries Association offers a helpful guide to finance options for hearing aids. Some of the companies that can assist include:
The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, also known as A. G. Bell International, is an international organization working to make sure that people who are deaf and hard of hearing have access to the tools, devices, and help that they require.
A. G. Bell is a membership organization. The United States and Puerto Rico have 41 active and 13 emerging chapters. To gain access to the organization’s financial aid programs, a person must first become a member. A lifetime membership costs $2,000.
The Starkey Hearing Foundation’s Hear Now Program is one of the organization’s hearing initiatives.
This program is one of last resort. People will need to have used all other options available to them before Starkey will offer aid.
Medicaid provides healthcare for people with lower incomes.
Through the CHIP program, the federal government helps state governments provide healthcare for children under the age of 21 from families who do not qualify for Medicaid but do not earn enough to purchase private insurance.
Children from families enrolled in these programs can receive regular hearing screenings. If the screenings show possible problems, Medicaid will cover further tests and treatment, including hearing aids.
Financial aid for adults varies by state.
A person may purchase a hearing aid using their employee health benefits. Some employers have health benefits that include a flexible spending account (FSA).
An FSA allows people to set aside some money during the year to pay for prescription medications and other eligible healthcare costs.
Many FSAs cover hearing aid purchases, exams, and maintenance costs, but individuals should check their available benefits with their employer.
Refurbished hearing aids
A person may sometimes purchase a refurbished hearing aid that someone has donated to their local hearing center. These reconditioned hearing aids are often more affordable.
Below are some common questions and answers about the costs of hearing aids.
How much should a cheap hearing aid cost?
The technology in hearing aids and any additional features are some of the main factors that determine the price of these devices.
Cheaper hearing aids often cost around $1,000 per pair.
Why do hearing aids cost so much?
Hearing aids can be expensive due to their technology.
Other manufacturers generally do not use hearing aid components in their devices, meaning that each component requires its own manufacturing process. Additionally, the research and design costs of hearing aids are also high to ensure each new model improves on its predecessors.
Do you need a hearing aid for both ears?
A hearing care professional will advise whether a person needs a hearing aid for one or both ears.
Someone with hearing loss will require a pair of hearing aids, while an individual with hearing loss in one ear may only need one hearing device.
Hearing aids are an effective method for improving an individual’s hearing and helping them communicate. However, they often have high costs due to their advanced technology, with prices ranging from about $1,000 to $6,000.
Most health insurance plans do not cover hearing aids or the associated hearing exams. However, some insurance companies offer additional benefits that a person may wish to purchase. These options often include specific terms, including the use of in-network healthcare providers.
People may also save money by purchasing a refurbished hearing aid or making use of their employee benefits.