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Hearing Aid Costs and Services

ODHHS Information and Technical Assistance Series
Hearing Aid Costs and Services
(Source: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, ASHA)
How expensive are hearing aids?
Hearing aids vary in price according to style, electronic features, and local market conditions. Prices can range from several hundred dollars to as much as $1,000. Average price in 1991 was $667.
Purchase price should not be the only consideration in buying a hearing aid. Product reliability can save repair costs as well as the frustration of a malfunctioning hearing aid. Cost of a particular type of battery used by the hearing aid and the rate at which the battery needs to be replaced also influence the overall cost of owning a hearing aid.
Each person's hearing difficulty presents a unique problem. The expertise of your audiologist and the follow-up services you will need are important considerations in your purchase decision.
Do I have to buy the hearing aid from the audiologist who evaluates my hearing?
No. You can go to an audiologist for a hearing evaluation and buy your hearing aid elsewhere. But, many people find that they receive the most satisfactory care by using the same professional for all services.
Will my health insurance pay for any of the costs of getting a hearing aid?
Some health care plans will cover the cost of a hearing test, a hearing aid evaluation, and even a hearing aid. Check with your health insurance company or your benefits officer to find out exactly what your policy covers.
What else will I need to know about my hearing aid?
You will have to know how to use and take care of it. You will need to know where to have it repaired. You will need to learn how to use special features on the aid such as the "T" switch, volume control, and, in some cases, sound frequency emphasis switches. To get full use from your hearing aid, make sure that you receive training in the above areas after purchase.
What if I buy a hearing aid and it does not help me?
At the time of publication, at least 11 states (CT, KY, ME, MN, NH, NY, OR, TN, TX, VT, WA) and the District of Columbia had laws that require a trial period for all hearing aid sales. Most audiologists provide a trial period even if it is not required.
If you decide to cancel your purchase during this trial period, there may be a nonrefundable fitting charge for such things as your custom earmold. The fee for the evaluation is also not usually refundable. You should discuss these policies with your audiologist.

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is the national professional and scientific society that represents 81,427 audiologists; speech-language pathologists; and speech, language and hearing scientists. ASHA's mission is to promote the interest of its members, to provide them with the highest quality services, and to advocate for people with communication disabilities. ASHA's Consumer Affairs Division provides an information and referral service on a broad range of speech, language and hearing disabilities for both children and adults.

For additional information on this topic or other speech, language, or hearing disabilities, contact the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 10801 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852, 1-800-638-8255 or (301) 897-8682 (Voice or TTY).