A recent survey found that folks spend an average of $2,710 out of pocket when buying hearing aids — but not you! Here are some simple steps to save on hearing aids and cut the cost by 50 percent or more.
Shop Where Savings are Biggest
When you want to save the most cash on high-quality digital hearing aids, head to Costco where their private brand Kirkland Signature sells for $1,500 per pair, which is about 50 percent less than you’d pay elsewhere for a name-brand equivalent. Even better, these hearing aids are made by the premium Swiss manufacturer Sonova, so you can expect reliability and durability.
If you prefer another brand, Costco sells those, too, such as Philips and ReSound, for up to 30 percent less than you’d find at other retailers. Not a Costco member? Look for limited-time discounts of up to 59 percent off on hearing aids at nearby audiologists by logging onto HearingTracker.com/hearing-aids/discounts. (Tip: Sort results by price to see the best deals instantly.) And if you’re an AARP member, you’ll save 20 percent on hearing aids by visiting AARPHearingCare.com or calling 800-203-7048.
Look For “Unbundled” Offers
When buying hearing aids, your final price typically includes other services that are bundled together with them, such as check-ups, replacement batteries, and maintenance— whether or not you need these add-ons. Fortunately, to help save their patients money, more and more private audiologists are now offering hearing aids that come “unbundled”.
This means you get to select which after-care services you want and skip those you can do without, saving you up to $1,000. To find unbundled hearing aids, look for nearby audiologists by doing a search at Find.ASHA.org/pro or dialing 800-638-8255. Once you find a few, visit their websites or call their office to ask if they offer an unbundled option.
Ask For a Price Break
To pay even less for hearing aids, ask for a discount. Sounds too simple to work, but in a Consumer Reports survey, nearly 50 percent of customers who requested a lower price received one.
Another option: Submit an application for reduced-rate or free hearing aids from organizations that provide them to low-income individuals who don’t have health insurance coverage, such as the Hearing Aid Project and Lion’s Club. You can find out which programs you may qualify for by visiting HearingLoss.org/hearing-help/financial-assistance.
Check Your Medicare Insurance
Rely on Medicare to cover doctor and hospital visits, but wish it covered hearing aids, too? If you’ve got a Medicare Part C plan (also called a Medicare Advantage Plan), it might. This privately-issued supplemental Medicare insurance that comes with a low monthly premium (or none at all) and capped out-of-pocket costs often includes coverage for hearing aids. So, check if they’re included in your plan by calling the customer service number on your member card.
Don’t have Part C and missed the Medicare annual enrollment period, which ended December 7? You may still be able to sign up under certain circumstances, for example, if you had another type of supplemental healthcare plan that ended, you moved out of a coverage area or your provider moved. To find out if you qualify to enroll now, visit Medicare.gov/plan-compare.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Save on Healthcare (Buy on Amazon, $12.99).
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