First, each hearing aid manufacturer spends 100 million dollars, or more, each year for research and development. This continuing effort is to find better ways to help those who have hearing loss, hear, and understand better. The sale of hearing devices is how this money is recuperated. Also, these are for-profit companies that employ thousands of people.
After the design and manufacturing of hearing aids, they must then be programmed and adjusted to each patient’s specific needs. A Doctor of Audiology is required to take years of training and education; this includes continuing education courses throughout his/her career, all so they can accurately provide services. The same way your family physician is reimbursed for his/her time and services, or even a plumber or electrician, your hearing care provider must cover the costs of their services. This includes the audiological testing and diagnostic equipment used to evaluate your hearing, and correctly program your hearing aids.
Yes, hearing aids and hearing care are expensive; this is primarily a combination of the cost of the hearing aids themselves, and the professional services needed to make the hearing aids work correctly for you.
However, the average hearing aid user in America gets about 5 ½ years of service out of a properly fit set of hearing aids. If hearing aids and hearing care are broken down over that 5 to 5 ½ year period, it comes out to roughly what the average household pays for cable or satellite television service.
Some insurance policies do have at least partial coverage for hearing aids, and there are also financing options available for those who choose to spread the cost of hearing care over time.
If you have other questions about hearing, hearing loss, or hearing aids you would like Dr. Craig to address, please post them in the comments.