I get asked this question a lot, so here goes, hopefully, the answer to your question.
Manufacturers set their prices based on many things, but primary research and design. Hearing aids have improved greatly over the years primarily through research and design into everything from how the human ear works, how the brain handles sound and how best to deliver sound information to the brain.
While the costs of the actual components are cheap enough, the features that make them work are all based on research and design. Most features are software based, and software development costs money. There are innovations in hardware as well, again R&D costs.
The manufacturers continue to ensure their equipment is cutting edge, stays competitive in the market, so you can hear better. They then charge me a price that covers their research, pay their employees, and makes some profit. It really is that simple. There isn’t any conspiracy or a monopoly.
Compared to cost of Smartphones, first, most Smartphones are subsidized by a carrier, with long term contracts and monthly fees. Smartphones are manufactured and sold in the hundreds of millions. Hearing aids aren’t. The economy of scale is not there yet with hearing aids.
I continuously train and educate myself with the constantly improving technology. I spend hours with you to ensure you get the best fit and equipment for your needs. That time includes an in-depth hearing test consultation, a custom fitting of the equipment, training on the use and several follow-up visits. We include visits to clean and service the aids, check your ear canal health and undertake any fine-tuning needed. Annually, I will check your hearing and make any adjustments needed. We also have all the typical cost of doing business expenses in rent, insurance, utilities, employees, taxes and advertising. Our advertising is more about “education” than selling.
There is some debate in our profession about pricing. The common practice today is “bundling” all the costs into one set price. There is a trend to “un-bundle” the services, charging a base price for the equipment, and then charge for each office visit or services as they occur. Your cost may be greater in the long run for un-bundling.
The hidden cost of hearing loss
If you deny or delay improving your hearing, the cost could become much more expensive. If a person decides against buying a hearing aid even though they need one – what devastating cost does this impose on one’s personal safety, human engagement, family stress, and emotional wellbeing?
A lack of payment assistance for hearing devices is a major factor in the low rate of ownership and use. While the Veteran’s Administration provides hearing devices to qualified veterans, there is little or no coverage for individuals through private health insurance and Medicare.
Half of the 30 million Americans with hearing problems are under the age of fifty and are active in the work force. Studies prove those who struggle with hearing on the jobsite earn up to 50% less. Unfortunately, these costs only cover earning potential and neglect intangible losses, such as the social isolation and psychological stress.
Older people also are a major concern. Presbycusis, the loss of hearing associated with aging, affects about 30 percent of adults who are aged 65 years and older. Hearing loss adversely affects quality of life according to a study by the National Council on the Aging. The study revealed that hearing device users report better physical, emotional, mental and social well-being than those who do not use hearing aids.
If you suspect that you or a family member has a hearing loss, consult a Hearing Aid Specialist today. Do not put off this important, life changing, simple action. If you deny or delay improving your hearing, the cost could be much more expensive in the long run, and you can’t gain it back.
Don’t be fooled by unbelievably low prices. You want the most current technology. Get referrals from people you trust. Stop by and visit the clinic and meet the staff prior to making an appointment. There is so much more than just price, when it comes to your health and quality of life.