Confused by Hearing Aid Ads?
I wouldn’t blame you. As more and more healthcare items become retail, the confusion grows, and hearing aid pricing can be very confusing.
Basically, it’s a very similar model to pharmacy pricing, in that there is the cost of the prescription + dispensing fees. (Regardless of the cost of the medicine, the pharmacist has the same dispensing fee). In Ontario the Ministry of Health regulates the pricing of hearing aids. The price is broken down by cost of device + dispensing fee (and may also include molding, servicing, and batteries).
The cost price of a hearing aid can range from $300 to nearly $3000 with many models in between. When you see an ad for price, it generally is the cost price of the instrument (usually the most basic model) before fitting fees. The pricing has nothing to do with the size or shape of the instrument, and everything to do with the computer technology inside of it. A basic hearing aid is an amplifier, an advanced hearing aid has noise reduction, speech enhancement, wind noise filters, bluetooth capability, etc. Few people are satisfied with base models, and few need the most expensive. Most are somewhere in the middle depending on their degree of hearing loss and their lifestyle needs.
So how do you know what you need? You don’t. You need to feel confident in the expertise and honesty of the person recommending them. Make sure you have a period of time in which you can return the hearing aids if you are unhappy. Ask if there is a return fee if you don’t keep them.
Keep in mind that your hearing, like your vision, is part of your overall health and should be treated as such. Don’t let hearing aid ads prevent you from getting a hearing test. You may have a medical condition that needs to be identified, and may even be treatable.