Hearing

How to Save Up to 50% on Hearing Aids

Hearing aids are expensive, but these tips can help you save money.

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A recent survey found that folks spend an average of $2,710 out of pocket when buying hearing aids … but not you! Here, the simple steps to cutting the cost.

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For high-quality digital hearing aids at a discount, head to Costco. Their private brand, Kirkland Signature, sells for $1,500 per pair — about 50 percent less than you’d pay elsewhere for a name-brand equivalent. Plus, they’re made by the premium Swiss manufacturer Sonova, so you can expect reliability and durability. Prefer another brand like Philips or ReSound? Costco sells those too for up to 30 percent less than other retailers. Not a Costco member? Visit HearingTracker.com/hearing-aids/discounts and sort results by price to see the best deals at nearby audiologists.

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% of customers who requested a lower price received one. Another option: Submit an application for reduced-rate or free hearing aids with organizations that provide them to low-income individuals who don’t have health insurance coverage, such as the Hearing Aid Project and Lions Club. You can find out which programs you may qualify for by visiting HearingLoss.org/hearing-help/financial-assistance.

Look for ‘unbundled’.

When buying hearing aids, your final price typically includes other services bundled together with them, like checkups, replacement batteries and maintenance — whether you need them or not. But many private audiologists offer hearing aids unbundled, where you can skip the services you don’t want — a savings of up to $1,000. Just search for nearby audiologists at Find.ASHA.org/pro or call 800-638-8255. Then once you find one, call the office to ask if they offer an unbundled option.

Check your Medicare.

Rely on Medicare to cover doctor and hospital visits but wish it covered hearing aids too? If you have a Medicare Part C plan, it might. This privately issued supplemental insurance that comes with a low or no monthly premium and capped out-of-pocket costs often includes hearing aid coverage. Don’t have Part C and missed the annual enrollment period? You may still be able to sign up under certain circumstances like, for example, if you had another supplemental healthcare plan that ended, you moved out of a coverage area or your provider moved. To find out if you qualify, log on to Medicare.gov/plan-compare.

This story originally appeared in our print magazine.

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