Hearing Aid Financing
With hearing aids typically ranging from $1500 to $3500 for one unit, and needing replacement every 4-7 years, many folks consider hearing aid financing to help alleviate the financial burden. Even if a one-time payment of $3000 to $7000 (for a set of hearing aids) is manageable, many patients choose to finance hearing aids simply because it can be a financially-savvy decision. For instance, with same-as-cash plans and 0% interest rates, financing hearing aids frees up your money to work for you while you repay the financing company with no interest accruing on the loan.
Do most hearing providers offer financing to pay for hearing aids?
Yes, the vast majority of hearing providers do offer some type of financing for hearing aids or hearing aid loans. There are no hard figures on exactly how many hearing providers offer financing, but I can take a quick guess based on some simple research. The last time I looked into it, I figured there were roughly 14,000 hearing providers in the U.S. Of those 14,000, CareCredit (a financing company), says they have at least 7,000 hearing providers who participate with their plan. Since there are a few other hearing aid financing companies, I’d assume that more than 12,000, or 85% of hearing providers offer financing. The bottom line is, yes, many providers offer financing, and chances are, whatever hearing provider you want to buy hearing aids from will have a financing plan available for you.
What kind of hearing aid financing plans are available?
Whether you’re looking for low monthly payments over the course of 2-5 years, or interest-free payments for up to 18 months, you’ll be a able to find a payment plan that fits your needs. The plans from all of the finance companies are going to be very similar to each other, with interest rates varying slightly.
CareCredit is by far the most popular hearing aid financing company. If you’ve financed a medical purchase before, you may already have a CareCredit card, as they allow you to finance all kinds of medical costs that aren’t typically covered by insurance. To use CareCredit to pay for your hearing aids, you simply apply for a card here, then you can use the card at your local hearing provider just like you would use a credit card (your hearing provider of course needs to accept CareCredit). Below I’ve outlined the options available from CareCredit so you can get a rough idea of what is available.
Available plans through CareCredit:
- Interest-free for up to 18 months: If you can swing it financially, this is the plan you want. This plan is interest-free, same as cash, for as long as 18 months, with no additional fees.
- 14.90% interest rate for up to 60 months: If you’d like lower monthly payments and don’t mind paying interest, you can opt for up to a 5-year repayment plan. Purchases of $1,000 or more are eligible for a 24, 36 or 48 month offer and purchases of $2,500 or more are eligible for a 60 month offer.
Whatever plan you choose, CareCredit has a handy calculator that you can use to see what your estimated payments may be.
Things to keep in mind
- Your hearing provider may not offer all of the above plans. Some plans are too expensive for providers to offer, or just don’t make sense for their business, so don’t be surprised if not all of the above options are offered.
- You may be charged a higher than normal fee from your provider if you return your hearing aids. If you return your hearing aids, there is a good chance that your hearing provider is still going to be charged a fee from the finance company. There is also a good chance that the fee you’ll be charged if you return your hearing aids will reflect this. It’s a good idea to talk to your hearing provider about any fees you will incur if you return the hearing aids.
- If you opt for a long-term plan, you may add to your balance over time. If you choose a long term plan (3-5 years), the warranty is going to expire on your hearing aids during that time. If you hearing aid breaks, you could be out as much as $500 for a repair fee, and this could be added to balance. As you consider which plan to choose, keep in mind that your balance may increase and you could end up paying much more interest than you originally anticipated.
- You may be able to find a better deal through a local lender: Also consider that while the above plans are the most popular for financing hearing aids, private lending institutions like your community bank may also provide you with a short term loan for hearing aids, so you may want to explore that option.