How Much Do Hearing Aids Cost Without Insurance?
The cost of a single hearing aid ranges from $1000 to $3500, while the price of a pair ranges from $2000 to $7000. Hearing aids are seldom covered by insurance, but there are many ways to reduce the overall cost. The most significant factors in price are the level of technology, bundled vs. unbundled pricing, age, and the number of hearing aids you require.
Hearing aids are used to improve the quality of life for those experiencing hearing loss. A hearing aid consists of three main parts: a microphone, amplifier, and speaker. It helps those with hearing difficulties listen, communicate, and participate more fully in daily activities.
The Cost of Hearing Aids
Hearing aids can be costly without insurance, costing up to $7000 for a pair with an average lifespan of three to seven years. The price varies significantly due to the technology, bundled vs. unbundled pricing, age, and the number of hearing aids you require.
The more advanced the technology within your hearing aid(s), the more costly it will be. Hearing aid technology is consistently improving, and more features are being added to newer designs and styles. Some basic and more advanced hearing aid features include:
The desired technology level is an essential factor when choosing hearing aid(s) and considering costs. If you want to access more advanced features with your hearing aids, you will likely invest in a premium or mid-level hearing aid. If you are not interested in the more advanced features, basic, lower-priced hearing aids will probably suit your needs.
Phonak, a hearing aid company, lists four different models of their hearing aids showing the difference in price between basic and more advanced hearing aids. Although these are specific to Phonak’s models, the prices almost mirror the usual difference between basic and more-advanced models with regard to hearing aid technology.
- Essential: $2,400–$3,000 per pair
- Standard: $3,000–$3,600 per pair
- Advanced: $3,600–$4,400 per pair
- Premium: $4,400–$7,000 per pair
Hearing aid technology is considered advanced or basic - affecting the price entirely. There are numerous types of hearing aid brands out on the market, making it easy to search to find the right one for you. The twelve best hearing aids of 2022, according to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), include:
- Lively for NCOA Editor’s Pick
- Eargo for Best Invisible Fit
- Audicus for Best Budget-Friendly
- Phonak Paradise for Being Audiologist’s Pick
- MDHearing for Most Versatile
- Audien Atom Pro for Best for the Money
- Signia Silk X for Most Natural Sound
- Widex Moment for Best for Tinnitus
- ReSound One for Best Rechargeability
- Starkey Evolv Al for Best with Fall Detection
- Phonak Naida Paradise P-UP for Best for Severe Hearing Loss
- Oticon More for Most Advanced Smart Features
There are many different styles of hearing aids. Your style will vary significantly based on your degree of hearing loss, your lifestyle preferences, and any cosmetic concerns you may have. The four main styles and their advantages and disadvantages include:
Hearing Aid Style
|Behind the Ear (BTE)|
|In the Ear (ITE)|
|In the Canal (ITC)|
|Completely in Canal (CIC)|
Bundled Vs. Unbundled Pricing
Bundled vs. Unbundled Pricing will dramatically affect the total out-of-pocket cost you will pay for hearing aids. Most of the time, the price you see for hearing aids will be bundled. Bundled pricing includes the cost of the hearing aids, your hearing test, the hearing professional consultation, initial fitting, all follow-up adjustments, routine cleanings, and even a warranty usually ranging from one to three years.
Although not as common, some clinics may sell hearing aids with unbundled pricing, allowing you to choose which services you want and do not want. This way, you can pay as you go for fittings, adjustments, and cleanings, in addition to choosing the specific warranty you desire.
Age and Number of Hearing Aids
The cost of hearing aids varies greatly by age. Pediatric hearing aids will cost marginally less and are more likely to be covered by insurance. A nationwide survey has shown that 2 of every 1,000 children screened have some sort of hearing loss, necessitating hearing aids. Again, the cost can vary greatly depending on the level of technology but tend to cost between $1000 and $6000 a pair.
The number of health insurance plans that fully or partially cover pediatric hearing aids is continuously growing. However, it is important to check with your insurance provider to completely understand what is covered and what is not. For those living in California, there is Medi-Cal and California Children’s Services (CCS) that currently covers the cost of hearing aids for children.
Additionally, the number of hearing aids you need will affect the total cost. The majority of people with hearing loss will need two hearing aids, especially those with age-related hearing loss. However, if you only have hearing loss in one ear and near normal hearing in the other, then one hearing aid will probably be all you need. Needing only one hearing aid will ultimately cut your costs in half.
Additional Costs Associated with Hearing Aids
It is essential to ask your hearing care professional what is included in the total cost to fully understand what you are purchasing and what you may need to purchase additionally. Choosing bundled vs. unbundled will greatly impact the total cost of your hearing aids; unbundled pricing may necessitate additional costs such as:
|Services||Cost without insurance|
|Hearing Test||$0 - 250|
|Replacement Batteries||$.70 - $3.95|
|Annual Hearing Aid Check||$60 - $260|
Payment and Savings Options
The cost of hearing aids is rarely covered by insurance; however, there are many ways to reduce the overall costs associated, but if you have private health insurance it is still crucial to check with your plan to see if all or a portion of your costs may be covered.
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Ordering your hearing aids through an online service may be a more affordable option. The online site may offer an online hearing screening to help figure out which hearing aid is best for you or even ask for a copy of your audiogram (hearing test results). Although more affordable, a drawback of online hearing screens is that they cannot tell you the cause of your hearing loss. And if hearing aids are bought without a hearing test, they may not meet your needs, inadvertently causing you to spend more money on alternative pairs.
Although more costly, purchasing hearing aids in person and from a licensed hearing professional can save you money in the long run. This also ensures a better listening experience with a device customized for you!
Some clinics and hearing professionals offer payment plans. These allow you to pay off the total cost of treatment over time rather than all at once. Be sure to ask your hearing professional if this is an option for you.
A health savings account (HSA) or flexible spending account (FSA) may help reduce the cost of hearing aids. Funds from your FSA or HSA can assist with covering the cost of hearing aids in addition to the additional costs associated. These accounts allow you to set aside pre-tax dollars to pay for IRS-qualified medical expenses; hearing aids are considered a qualified expense and are found on the list of tax-deductible medical expenses.
Medicare & Medicaid
Medicare seldom covers routine hearing evaluation or hearing aids but some Medicare Advantage Plans may have hearing aid coverage. It is important to check in with your Medicare representative to understand if you can have some costs covered. As for Medicaid, it is also state-specific. You will find that most state Medicaid programs will cover partial or complete costs for hearing aids. Medicaid requires all states to cover hearing aid costs for those 21 years old and younger. For those older than 21 years, the eligibility conditions vary by state and this is why it is important to check with your state’s Medicaid coverage.
Another option for reducing the cost of hearing aids is to reach out to some nonprofit organizations as many provide financial assistance for hearing aids or even provide used or refurbished aids. For extensive information and resources on organizations that offer financial assistance for hearing aids visit the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD).
Cost of Hearing Aids Without Insurance Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Consider this additional information regarding the cost of hearing aids without insurance.
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How Do I Choose the Right Hearing Aids for Me?
This may be a trial and error effort and will require patience. Finding the right hearing aid will be a combined effort between you and your hearing professional. HealthyHearing recommends considering these six factors when choosing hearing aids: Your level of hearing loss, preferred hearing aid technology, comfort, price and quality, style, and lifestyle.
Where Can I Get Tested for Hearing Aids?
An Audiologist is the professional that will likely complete your hearing test. The majority of Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) clinics will have an Audiologist that can complete a hearing test. Additionally, you can visit an independent audiologist, visit an independent wholesale store (Costco, Sam’s Club, etc), or go to an audiology franchise for a hearing test. Audicus does on-site hearing tests; their locations can be found here.
What Should I Expect at a Hearing Test?
Hearing tests are evaluated using an audiogram. The audiologist will first ask you detailed questions about your hearing experiences. There are different styles and styles of hearing tests but they will always be completed in a soundproof room. You will be given headphones or earplugs connected to a device that will send specific sounds of both different volumes and pitches to one ear at a time. Upon hearing the target sound you will be asked to raise your hand, press a button, or complete an action that shows you heard the tone.
Can I Buy Hearing Aids Over The Counter?
The FDA approved the sale of Over-The-Counter (OTC) hearing aids. They are intended for those with mild-to-moderate hearing loss and will likely be more affordable than prescription hearing aids. OTC hearing aids will not require an audiogram or fitting but will function similarly to prescription hearing aids.
On average, the cost of a pair of hearing aids without insurance ranges from $2000 to $7000. Hearing aids are definitely a costly investment, with prices depending on multiple factors such as technology level, age, bundled vs. unbundled pricing, and the number of hearing aids needed. There are numerous ways to reduce the cost of your hearing aids
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Kendra Bean is from Maui, Hawaiʻi. She is currently enrolled at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, specializing in Epidemiology. She is passionate about improving health literacy and access to care, specifically in rural areas.