How Much Do Hearing Aids Cost?
Hearing aids cost a lot. In fact, your hearing aid purchase is probably going to be one of the most expensive items you ever buy for yourself. The average cost of a hearing aid is about $2,300. Whoa! If you need two hearing aids you’re looking at an average cost of about $4,600. But hearing aids can be found much cheaper, and and also for much, much more money. On the low end, you can find a set of digital hearing aids for around $1,500 (and that would include all your local service from a hearing provider). At the other end, it’s not uncommon for a set of hearing aids and their accessories to go for around $7,000 and sometimes much more. If you’d like to see an exhaustive list of all the hearing aids on the market, and their prices when purchased from your local ZipHearing provider, click here.
There are a number of reasons that the average cost of a hearing aid is so much. The top reasons you’ll hear from manufacturers, providers, and other authorities, is that the technology is handmade and each hearing aid has enormous research and development costs behind it. This is true. Several hearing aid manufacturers have research facilities/headquarters that could be compared in size to small colleges. These companies employ thousands of scientists, doctors, engineers, and of course business professionals. To stay ahead of the technological curve when it comes to hearing aids is a very difficult, and very expensive endeavor. So, obviously this expense is going to be reflected in the end user cost of the product. But perhaps the biggest (and less mentioned) reason why hearing aids are so expensive is the distribution method. Hearing aids are not sold direct to consumers, and for a number of reasons. There are a few companies which sell hearing aids online, but it is largely accepted by governmental and regulatory bodies that this is a bad idea, and not in the best interest of the consumer.
When you purchase a hearing aid, you are purchasing it from a local (brick & mortar) hearing provider, a business which of course incurs all the expenses that go along with running that kind of establishment. Essentially, the overhead costs of running a business- several thousand dollars a month. Add to this the fact that hearing aids are traditionally a low-volume product, meaning, most hearing providers only sell a handful of hearing aids each month. You can quickly see that it’s not hard to imagine why hearing aids do have a sizable markup, yet a markup that is absolutely necessary to stay in business. Here is a really helpful pie chart that shows exactly why hearing aids are so expensive and all the costs associated with the distribution.
So sure, hearing aids have a large markup, but not more than the market will bear, just like every other product and service. Diamonds are marked up around 200%, water (the most abundant resource on the planet is marked up 4,000% when bought by the bottle, and it’s not uncommon for eyeglass frames to have a 1,000% markup. And none of those products need to be serviced and maintained several times a year by a local business with overhead expenses. I think a lot of people have this idea that hearing aid providers are just marking up their products so much because they are greedy, or ripping people off, and (in most cases) this couldn’t be further from the truth. Many hearing providers would love to lower their prices, they would win more business! The fact is, in our semi-free market economy, if a business can enter a market and offer substantially lower prices than competitors and win market share and stay in business, they will- until prices stabilize. Well, the hearing aid industry has been around for a long time and prices have stabilized. While shopping around for hearing aids can yield you a better deal and often save thousands of dollars, they are going to be expensive any way you cut it. If you want to get a lot deeper in to this topic and read perspectives from manufacturers, providers, and consumers, this is a good place to start.
If you’d like a free phone consultation with a licensed hearing provider, please feel free to call us at 800-731-6794.