Why Are Hearing Aids So Expensive?
‘You can never put a price on your health.’ Sadly, this quote doesn’t hold some truth to it. Even though matters regarding our health are priceless, hearing aids are certainly not. If you’ve ever gone through the process of getting hearing aids, you can bear witness that the bill can be a little bit crazy.
Research statistics from Johns Hopkins Cochlear Center for Hearing and Public health indicate that 14.3% of Americans have reported some degree of hearing loss. This accounts for about 38.2 million people in America.
Even though this figure is relatively high, only 30% of people aged 70 years and above and 16% between the ages of 20–69 have ever used hearing aids. One of the primary reasons why there are few hearing aid users is because of the high costs.
How Much do Hearing Aids Cost?
According to a report from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), one hearing aid costs approximately $2,300. Therefore, you can spend a little over $5,000 on a pair of hearing aids. Expensive right?
To the average American household, this is equivalent to two months’ salary!
As you can see from the figures highlighted above, the price range is out of reach for so many people. To make matters worse, most health insurance plans do not cover hearing aids. This explains why, despite many people suffering from hearing loss, hearing aid users are still very few.
The good news is, in-person clinics and audiologists’ offices only apply these extreme price ranges. At Orka, we’ve turned to new technologies and online service providers, such as telehealth practices, to make hearing aids affordable. Our Orka One AI DeNoise hearing aids are available at only $2370 a pair.
Why are Traditional Hearing Aids so Expensive?
The question you are probably asking yourself is, ‘Why are hearing aids so expensive?’ Some of the factors that contribute to the high costs of hearing aids are;
- Costs of Maintaining a Clinic
Maintaining a medical facility is expensive. There are several bills a clinic owner has to settle. From reimbursing audiologists, clinic staff, rent of the facility, to purchasing test equipment, the list is endless. Since customer turnover in most clinics is relatively low, the prices have to increase for the clinic to cover their operational costs.
- High Manufacturing Costs
When we look at the manufacturing side, the cost of putting together a fully functional hearing aid isn’t cheap.
First, a company has to conduct thorough research on equipment, technology, and market preference. The research process alone may cost even a third of the entire hearing aid price.
Second, the materials, i.e., microphones, and microprocessors required, are highly-priced. Thirdly, most individual clinics don’t order hearing aids in bulk. This makes it difficult for them to be offered high discounts by the manufacturer.
Lastly, only a few manufacturers know about producing the technology behind hearing aids. Therefore the market is dominated by only a handful of companies.
- Lack of Insurance Coverage
Since insurance doesn’t cover most hearing aids, users are forced to dig into their pockets. Before purchasing hearing aids, you have to undergo hearing tests. Professional audiologists with specific equipment perform the tests.
Unfortunately, after purchasing hearing aids, your device has to be fitted, adjusted, and fine-tuned by an audiologist for it to suit your hearing needs. As St. Joseph. Mich audiologist once said, “You can buy a hearing aid anywhere, but it will only be as good as the person fitting it,”
Therefore clinics are forced to integrate all these before and after appointments and consultations into the overall cost of purchasing hearing aids.
Are There Affordable Hearing Aids?
Online service providers have made it possible for hearing aids to be available at an affordable price. You can purchase hearing aids for less than half the cost you would pay if you bought the device from a clinic or an audiologist's office.
Online companies don’t have to pay rental fees and other incurred costs of operating a physical clinic. Thus, low operating expenses equals lower prices.
When operational costs are few, companies can shift their focus to technologically advancing their hearing aids to accommodate more features and serve you better. For example, Orka’s primary focus is to offer customers value for money. For only $2370, you can get AI DeNoise powered hearing aids that can amplify human voice in real-time, Bluetooth connectivity, and so much more.
Does Price Reflect on the Quality of Hearing Aids?
We often mistake high pricing for quality. Some of the best hearing aids are expensive because of features, but this isn’t always the case.
Some in-person clinics pass off the latest hearing aids as the best. It is easier to convince a customer that the new arrivals are of high quality since the packaging’s manufacturing date is labeled as 2020.
If you’re skeptical about cheap hearing aids but think the expensive ones are a rip-off, you should opt for averagely priced aids. You can get great devices with advanced technological features in the middle price range that will perfectly suit your needs.
In other words, you’ll be getting a slightly downgraded version of the highly-priced hearing aids but still enjoying a better experience.
Alternatively, you can opt for online service providers like Orka, who offer fairly priced hearing aids with top-notch features. As mentioned earlier, their prices are relatively lower because of low operational costs.
At the end of the day, ensure that you select hearing aids as per your budget, personal preferences, and lifestyle. Not all hearing aids are overpriced. Thanks to online service providers, you can get a pair of quality hearing aids with modern features for a third of the ‘normal’ price. Orka is driven by its passion to help as many people with hearing challenges in the world as possible. In that quest, they’ve made their Orka One affordable to everyone and anyone.