Hearing aids can be life changing for hearing loss sufferers, who are enabled to re-engage with loved ones, stave off depression, and vastly increase their quality of life. However, it comes at a cost.
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) estimates that a pair of professional hearing aids costs about $3,000, and lasts about four to six years; batteries add an additional cost. “Given these factors, hearing aids can be among the most expensive items purchased by many Americans with hearing loss, after their home and car.”
The NIDCD explains, “Medicare doesn’t cover the cost of hearing aids. Most insurance programs do not cover them, and of those that do, most pay only a portion of the costs.”
To maximize your hearing aid investment, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) encourages consumers to review warranties before purchasing: “The hearing aid’s warranty is an important part of its overall value. Most manufacturers have some type of warranty, usually one to three years. Ask your audiologist if he or she has any warranties in addition to the manufacturer’s. You can also buy an extended warranty that takes effect after the manufacturers’ warranty expires.”
For all warranties, AARP recommends asking exactly what’s covered, such as parts, fittings, and adjustments. Will the warranty provide a new hearing aid if it’s lost or destroyed? If replaced, will it be with an upgraded model? How many years does the warranty cover?
AARP adds, “Unlike a warranty that covers manufacturing defects and wear-and-tear, some insurance options cover damage and loss. The annual cost of hearing aid insurance runs from $50-$150, depending on type. Read the policy thoroughly before you buy, as insurance may be unnecessary with the warranty.”