How to Save Money on Hearing Aids

Top 5 tips that can save you thousands on hearing aids

They’re one of the most expensive personal items you’ll ever buy.

In the U.S, the average price for a pair of hearing aids is a staggering $4600.

With prices like that, it’s only natural to wonder how you might save money on hearing aids.

Well, look no further.

In this post I’ll provide the top 5 ways you can save money on hearing aids.

5 tips for saving money on hearing aids

1. Check with your health insurance

More and more health insurance plans are providing hearing aid coverage.

Before you pick up the phone and call a hearing aid company, call your insurance company.

Here are some questions you should ask them:

“Do I have any benefits for hearing aids?”

“Do I have a different benefit amount if I go with an in-network provider, vs. an out-of-network provider?”

“What sort of preauthorization (if any), is required, to take advantage of my hearing aid benefits?”

And since we’re talking about saving money on hearing aids, you should know that even if you have a hearing aid benefit from your insurance, that doesn’t necessarily mean that utlizing that benefit is going to be your most affordable option.

For example, a lot of insurance plans will refer you to their “in-network” or “preferred” provider, where they’ll promise a certain % of savings, or a flat amount off your purchase price, like $1,000.

The catch? Those savings are taken off an inflated manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP), and your final price may not be very competitive when all is said and done.

And, don’t assume that if your out-of-network benefit is less than your in-network benefit, that that means it’s going to be cheaper for you to stay in-network.

It all depends on the starting price of the hearing aids you’re considering buying.

If the in-network provider’s starting price is drastically higher than an out-of-network provider’s starting price, it could totally negate the extra benefit amount you would’ve received by staying in-network.

The bottom line, is don’t assume that just because you have a hearing aid benefit through your insurance, that that’s going to be your most affordable option.

Take a close look at your real out-of-pocket costs and evaluate accordingly.

2. Consider Costco

If you have a Costco nearby, you could be in for some serious savings.

Costco hearing aids are very similar to the hearing aids that are sold at independent hearing aid offices, and the savings can be tremendous.

For example, most independent hearing aid offices will sell a set of premium hearing aids for around $6,000.

Costco’s price? Around $2,000- sometimes a little more.

There are some downsides to buying through Costco- there’s a limited selection of products, sometimes defeatured products, and long appointment wait times, among others.

Buying hearing aids from Costco isn’t for everyone.

3. Buy through a discount network

Discount networks, like ZipHearing, negotiate discount pricing with hearing aid manufacturers, and pass the savings on to their customers.

There are probably a dozen discount networks in the industry, and this is an easy way to save up to 35% off retail prices, while still getting local hearing care and access to all the major brands.

Call one of the discount networks and ask to be referred to their local affiliate provider in your community.

You’ll get discount pricing below what you can typically negotiate on your own, while still getting access to local care.

Get a referral to a ZipHearing provider near you

Enter your info and we’ll call within 20 minutes!

    4. Check “Local Deals” on the HearingTracker website

    Founded by an audiologist, HearingTracker.com is one of the most well known resources for consumers in the industry.

    One neat feature of the site is their local deals section, where local hearing providers create and advertise special “deals” on hearing aids.

    It’s not uncommon to find deals that are up to 50% off retail prices.

    Through HearingTracker’s deal program, you get access to discount pricing and you also still get local care.

    5. Ask about “unbundling”

    At most hearing aid offices, the price you’re quoted is what’s called a “bundled” price.

    That is- a price that includes both the cost of the hearing aids, but also a lengthy service plan.

    So the devices and service are “bundled” together.

    But, if you separate the price of the devices and service, there’s room for savings.

    This is called “unbundling.”

    It can save you thousands of dollars, and it’ll make you look like the informed buyer you are.

    Ask your hearing provider for their unbundled price, or in other words, their price for the devices, plus a few appointments to get them setup properly for you.

    Then, get on a pay-as-you-go type arrangement for future service appointments (which you definitely will need).

    This could easily net you a thousand dollars or more in immediate (at least short term) savings.

    Heads up though- this is a more “advanced” way to save money on hearing aids, and it doesn’t come without risks.

    If your pay-as-you-go rate is high, buying hearing aids unbundled could end up being more expensive in the long run.

    If you’re an experienced hearing aid wearer and you know roughly how many appointments you require over the lifespan of a hearing aid, it should be easy enough for you to calculate whether or not you’ll come out ahead.

    Jeff is a California licensed hearing aid dispenser and the President of ZipHearing- one of the largest discount hearing aid suppliers in the United States. Jeff lives in San Diego, CA with his wife and 2 young daughters. You can learn more about hearing aids and watch Jeff on ZipHearing's Youtube channel.

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    1 Comments

      Sonia Sciochetti

      Reply
      at 3:52 pm

      I have been wearing hearing aid for over 20 yrs. I find most audiologists tout the products that they get a kick back from. Promise you the world until you buy them, after purchasing, if you go back more then 3 times, they are not interested in helping you. Its your fault, or you need newer aid. After 20 yrs. I finally found a teaching University, where they are only interested in helping you, not selling. Unfortunately this year, my hearing aids broke, they were 5 yrs. old, and I was on my way to Florida, therefore, had to purchase them here. Went to Costco, big, big, mistake. They were not any cheaper for the good ones, but I was desperate, so I bought them. Paid over $3,000.00. They are horrible. The employees are horrible. They have no audiologists in their stores. They use a computer. Teach me and I could do what they do.
      I later took them back to the University to try to have them reprogramed by a audiologist. Willing to pay the cost for this $300.00. She could not do it, because they were locked. The were Prezzo, now stuck. You cannot get in touch with anyone at Costco to complain. Tell you to e mail them. I have e mailed them 5 times without getting an answer. I advise everyone, not to buy at Costco, repeat, do not buy there. Since then, I have heard the same complaints from others.

      I have been wearing hearing aid for over 20 yrs. I find most audiologists tout the products that they get a kick back from. Promise you the world until you buy them, after purchasing, if you go back more then 3 times, they are not interested in helping you. Its your fault, or you need newer aid. After 20 yrs. I finally found a teaching University, where they are only interested in helping you, not selling. Unfortunately this year, my hearing aids broke, they were 5 yrs. old, and I was on my way to Florida, therefore, had to purchase them here. Went to Costco, big, big, mistake. They were not any cheaper for the good ones, but I was desperate, so I bought them. Paid over $3,000.00. They are horrible. The employees are horrible. They have no audiologists in their stores. They use a computer. Teach me and I could do what they do.
      I later took them back to the University to try to have them reprogramed by a audiologist. Willing to pay the cost for this $300.00. She could not do it, because they were locked. The were Prezzo, now stuck. You cannot get in touch with anyone at Costco to complain. Tell you to e mail them. I have e mailed them 5 times without getting an answer. I advise everyone, not to buy at Costco, repeat, do not buy there. Since then, I have heard the same complaints from others.

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