Tips for buying a hearing aid

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If you think you’re losing your hearing, consider seeing a doctor or other health professional who specializes in hearing loss. If a hearing aid is right for you, it’s a good idea to do some research. A hearing aid can be expensive. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • Look for a reliable provider. Ask family and friends for referrals, talk with your doctor, and check out potential sellers (retailers, audiologists, and dispensers) online before you visit. Enter the professional’s name and the manufacturer’s name into a search engine online, and find out what other people have to say.
  • Consider the price. As with many tech devices, a more expensive model might be worth the price to you, or it might contain fancy features you don’t really need. At the same time, be skeptical of hearing aids that seem to have an exceptionally low price.
  • Resist sales pressure. Buy only when you’re satisfied with the answers to your questions. Make sure the person you are dealing with puts their promises or guarantees about service and maintenance into the written purchase agreement.
  • Don’t buy a hearing aid without first trying it out. Most states require a 30- to 60-day trial period. Most hearing health professionals offer this even in states that don’t require it.
  • Get information about the warranty. How long is the warranty? Can it be extended? Does it cover maintenance and repairs? Is it honored by the manufacturer or by the licensed hearing health care professional?
  • Ask if you’ll get a free loaner hearing aid if your device needs servicing or repair.
  • Find out what’s included in the total price. Hearing aids, fitting services, follow-up, more? Get an itemized list, and make sure you get any verbal quotes and promises in writing.

For more information, please see the FTC’s recently revised article, Buying a Hearing Aid.

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness

Comments

I had an opportunity to buy the top of the line hearing aids, sponsored by my Health Insurance Carrier. And yes they were a good "bargain." However, there were fees associated with this try before you buy. The problem being they were not "carefully" identified or listed and the associated stipulations became separated. In the end after the trial period, I returned them as they did not provide a significant improvement in my hearing, even though I worked with the hearing specialist.
While it did cost a nice sum of money, nothing compared to the keeping cost. Chalked it up to a learning experience for next time. So, pay attention to the details, keep all the paperwork.

I have used three different pairs of hearing aids over the years. Audiologists are prone to inform you that the average life span of ANY hearing aid is about 5 years. THAT one claim is what butts against my sense of reasoning. I have been using a hearing aid repair service that has extended the life span of my most recent hearing aid devices. As a former ET Tech spanning 0ver 40 years, I have found a reliable "product repair" service that so far has kept me in a satisfactory state with my hearing aids over a spam of over 7 years beyond the "life expectancy" of hearing aids. in my mind, we of the hearing loss faction are being brainwashed into purchasing "state of the art" hearing devices every 4 to 5 years and probably as a result of "planned obsolescence" by the hearing aid industry. I firmly ascribe to the practice of "service and repair' provision That hearing aid manufacturers are reluctant to provide. My most recent purchase over ten years ago has been successfully serviced (NOT by the manufacturer) but by an independent service provider. The sad news for hearing aid customers is that they are herded into buying NEW devices every 4 to 5 years. That is being corralled into permanent purchases of product by design by short circuiting the "repair aspect". I will continue to resist this "modus operandi".

I have a strange experience. My hearing Aid seller cheated me by ordering my two hearing aides left and right while he delivered only one to me. Can I lodge complaint with you for this fraud.

If you (or your health insurance company) were charged for a hearing aid but didn't get the hearing aid, please report it to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. The information you give goes into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations.

If your health insurance company or Medicare or Medicaid paid for the hearing aid, you can also report it to them. Insurance companies usually have a telephone number where you can report billing errors or possible fraud.

helpful since we still owe several thousand dollars on aids we do not have any more..in collections and don't even have them.

Last year I took my hearing aid back to the provider to adjust the volume on them, since they don it before. said the can't do it, and want $3600.00 for one new one. My insurance covers $2,000.00. My insurance used to pay $325.00 for each.

I think the biggest sham of hearing aids is that they are very expensive & almost totally out of pocket costs. That is simply not right. Unless you work for the federal government or a public agency you don't even have a fair chance of affording hearing aids or support. Sad, very sad. In the last few years my out of pocket costs for hearing aids is some $ 8 thousand dollars.

Yes, I can sympathize with you all. I have stood in your shoes. What I would like to know is how do you find someone to keep Hearing aids working? Love the function of my hearin aids but they are about 10 years old and the place where I purchased them State they no Longer have software to service them! I would love to find someone to keep mine working.

I agree with all above. I was told by 4 audios that all digital Haids only last 3-4 y maximum with technology changes; after that time, they said manufacturers do not have anymore softwares for them to service us-.. is this true?? The last 12 y, I spent 14 K for 3 for the right ear; I cannot afford for both, although my audio pushed very hard for binaural. In addition I wonder, why Audios do the tests (for free but recover in their exorbitant price) and then sell-- Is this a conflict of interest?? When I am sick i see a DR, and go to a pharmacy; same for my OD and Opticians- 2 different businesses-- i did not work for the government and pay 100% out of my pocket . Can FTC work with State lawmakers to find a way protect us ?? Most of us who wear Haids, are "golden" age and considered as "handicapped"; a vulnerable segment of the population; and sad to say, we are taken advantage by manufacturers and audios. We need changes in the current laws; I hope the FTC will start looking at this issue.Thanks

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