Around 48 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss. But only one in five people who would benefit from a hearing aid actually uses one. How come?
Cost is a big reason. Hearing aids tend to be expensive and aren’t often covered by health insurance plans. As a result, “I need a hearing aid but I can’t afford it” is a common complaint among those who have no choice but to get by without the devices.
But hearing loss is uncomfortable and can be dangerous. What’s more, studies show that it has a serious negative impact on almost every dimension of the human experience from social skills to work performance.
To stay safe and well, keep reading to find out how to manage your hearing loss without the high hearing aid cost.
Shopping around and researching the factors that can make certain hearing aids cost less than others. For example, if you’re willing to compromise on features such as size or rechargeability, finding more affordable hearing aids should be easier.
Check Pricing Options and Extras
Many people wondering how to afford hearing aids don’t realize that most providers will include extras such as bundling options and warrantees in the price. You should always ask for a full breakdown of the final price and ask whether any of the extras are optional. For example, if their bundle includes testing you have covered at your hearing loss clinic, you may be able to take that off the total.
Consider Buying Online
Buying hearing aids online or from direct-to-consumer sellers is often cheaper. It may also be easier for you if you’re unable to see a hearing aid provider due to disability or living in a rural area.
The downside is that most of these providers don’t offer the fitting services that tailor your chosen devices to your specific hearing loss. So, while this option might help you access more affordable hearing aids, the devices you buy might not be as effective.
Investigate Your Medicare and Medicaid Coverage
If you’re over 65, it’s worth looking into whether you have a Medicare Advantage plan. While basic Medicare doesn’t cover hearing aids, the vast majority of these plans do. Likewise, if you’re eligible for Medicaid, you should check with your state agency to see if your state offers coverage for hearing aids.
Contact National Charitable Foundations
If paying for the hearing aids you need is out of the question, there are many charitable foundations that help people in your situation. These include The Hearing Aid Project and Miracle-Ear Foundation. For other sources, send an email to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (firstname.lastname@example.org).
I Need a Hearing Aid But I Can’t Afford It
Have you said in the past, “I need a hearing aid but I can’t afford it”?
Unfortunately, this is a common situation many people with hearing loss find themselves in. But, as these tips show, paying for hearing aids doesn’t have to be as impossible as you may have thought.
Want more lifestyle tips and tricks? Be sure to check out our other blog posts for all the latest on everything from health to finance!