“Help! I need hearing aids, but I don’t think I can afford them.”
It’s been estimated by the NIDCD Epidemiology and Statistics Program that almost 30 million American adults could benefit from hearing aids, but fewer than 25% of adults who could benefit from hearing aids have ever worn them. That’s over 20 million adults with untreated hearing loss.
In our 20+ years of experience working in the hearing care industry, we’ve encountered all kinds of resistance to hearing aids and reasons why people don’t treat their hearing loss. Some simply don’t know they have hearing loss, as it can develop gradually over time and can be hard to detect, and others are resistant to hearing aids because they think they’re uncomfortable or don’t like the look of them.
One reason we hear more than others, however, is cost — and we can understand why! Hearing aids are certainly an investment, and it can be hard to understand how something so small in size could cost what they do.
How much they cost is often the first question out of people’s mouths when we recommend hearing aids to them, and it’s our job to be transparent about the investment we’re asking our patients to make and ensure they understand both the benefits and their options.
Why are hearing aids so expensive?
Before we dive into the burning question (“How much do hearing aids cost?”), it’s important to understand just how incredible hearing aid technology is and how, though they are small in size, they pack a big punch.
Hearing aid technology has come a long way over the years, and it feels like there is always something new being released to enhance the experience of hearing aid users. But, the general composition of hearing aids hasn’t changed much in the last couple of decades.
Hearing aids are made up of three key components — a microphone, an amplifier, and a speaker — that work in tandem to pick up external sounds and make it easier for the ears to process those sounds. Hearing aids are designed to mimic what your ears are evolutionarily supposed to do: capture sound, amplify that sound, and turn it into signals that are then transmitted to the brain for processing.
While it may seem simple, there are a lot of small yet important processes that happen within hearing aids that help them deliver improved hearing ability to the user, and the technology needed to carry out these processes is what makes hearing aids more expensive than many people suspect.
Another key part of the hearing aid experience is making sure the devices are fit to your unique ear shape and tuned to support your unique level of hearing loss. This process requires a professional, and so part of the up-front hearing aid cost goes to the providers helping set you up for success on your hearing aid journey.
So, how much do hearing aids cost, then?
Like other types of medical technology (and technology in general!), there are many different types and styles of hearing aids that are each designed to offer different kinds of support to hearing aid users. And, with so much variation in the devices themselves, costs vary significantly, too.
Some of the key things that can impact the overall cost of hearing aids include:
- Severity of hearing loss
- Cause of hearing loss
- Aesthetic preferences
Another factor that contributes to the varying costs for hearing aids is where you purchase them from. Here at Colorado Ear Care, hearing aids range from $500 to $3,000, depending on the level of involvement from our team and whether or not your insurance provider covers some of or the entire cost of your hearing aids.
Does insurance cover the cost of hearing aids?
Despite the prevalence of hearing loss in the American population, most insurance plans don’t actually cover the cost of hearing aids, but some do offer specific benefits related to hearing loss, like if you’re a Veteran or a child under the age of 18.
For those with an insurance plan that does offer a discount for hearing aids, we find that those patients may pay less upfront but may pay more in the long run as their devices require regular maintenance and service to perform in tip-top shape.
Check with your insurance provider to see what benefits are available for hearing aids, or work with a hearing care provider (like Colorado Ear Care) to see what options are available to you.
Try a one-week, no-risk hearing aid demo with Colorado Ear Care
Investing in your hearing health affects more than just how well you hear the world around you. Untreated hearing loss can also increase your risk of developing cognitive issues and make you more likely to accidentally fall because of our ears’ key role in balance.
For those still on the fence about whether they want to invest in hearing aids, Colorado Ear Care offers a one-week, no-risk hearing aid demo, which allows you to try out a pair of hearing aids before you make a purchase.
If cost is the only thing holding you back from getting the hearing care you deserve, reach out to the team at Colorado Ear Care! We can help you understand your options and get on the path that’s right for you.