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What is the average cost of a premium hearing aid? Should I purchase from Costco or an independent doctor?

Hearing Aid Audiologist in London

12 October 2017 - 2.37K Views

If we are to define the Premium as each manufacturer's top of the range device then in England the answer would be as little as £2500 a pair to as much as £5995.

Often the difference between success & failure is linked to the time spent with a patient & the expertise of the practitioner they deal with.

If you deal with a "Big Box" retailer often appointment times are shorter & your care isn't always provided by the same individual, or as they can have a higher turn over of staff you may find that you don't get to deal with them for the entire ownership period.

I find audiology professionals will often start their careers with a National Chain but then as they gain more experience & expertise & a following will feel they can serve people better by creating their own brand where care can be more individual. Also, some smaller companies may offer just one brand but generally you will have a larger choice of brands by going the independent route (& the most cutting-edge technology) to choose from. It is hard to offer unbiased advice if you work with a chain who has a supply agreement with one or two manufacturers.

Finally, if you surf the net you will find cheap hearing aids offered from National Groups of independents. These are lead generation companies, so you won't really know who you are going to be dealing with until you meet them & as they are receiving less for each hearing aid they fit service can sometimes be patchy as they will have to see more patients.

Questions you would need to ask, what vetting does the lead generation carry out on the people they pass your information on to? That individual will be responsible for your care, not the company whose advert you replied to. You are best to approach a local independent yourself & importantly, you are going to be working together for years figure out do you like & trust this person/organisation? This person is going to be your trusted adviser so these are important points to consider.

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Audiologist in Anthem

11 October 2017 - 2.41K Views

Great question.  Different clinics will charge different amounts for Premium level devices.  Some bundle the cost of services in with their devices and some don't.  The ones that don't will generally charge you separately for the services you receive.  "Bundled Prices" can range in the $2,400 - $4,000 per ear depending on where in the country you are.  "Unbundled Prices" can range in the $1,500 - $2,000 price range.  

In terms of Costco, they generally dispense devices that are a generation older and do not emphasize follow-up care that can impact your success with hearing treatment tremendously.  That being said, there are individuals who are happy with their hearing aids regardless of the level of service they received.  The question of Costco vs. Independent Doctor is tough to answer globally because it really depends on the individual fitting you with the devices.  I would rather you go to a Costco dealer who is great at audiology than an Independent who isn't, and vice versa.  Just keep in mind that industry statistics indicate that a shockingly small percentage of people who buy their first pair of hearing devices from Costco actually come back to Costco to buy their second pair.  

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Dave  Harris
Dave Harris 12 October 2017
Can you show where you got those statistics?

Doctor of Audiology in Deerfield

11 October 2017 - 2.41K Views

The average cost of a premium hearing aid will vary in each market.  Hearing aids can range from hundreds of dollars to $4000 per device. When you purchase hearing aids, the price will often include all of the professional services that go along with the fitting as well as follow up care and supplies. Your hearing ability may change and your hearing aid may need repair.  You will need follow up care to assure your success.  These visits are usually included in your purchase.   You are making an investment in the professional as well as the hearing aid technology.  Where you choose to go is up to you.  It should be a place where you feel comfortable and a place that uses best practices to fit the devices. 

Here's a quote from Paul Dybala, PhD "Here’s another way to think about the price of hearing aids. If your hearing aids cost $4800, and they have a life expectancy of five years, they will cost you $960 per year, $80 per month or $2.66 per day. In other words, while the total amount is high, the ongoing usage price is reasonable. Monthly, it is about what you would pay to get satellite or cable television. Daily, it’s less than the cost of a mocha at your favorite coffee shop. When you consider the communication, relationship and health benefits you get from wearing hearing aids, most people agree that it is well worth it."

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Audioprosthologist in Longmont

12 October 2017 - 2.35K Views

There have already been a number of great answers already provided and I encourage you to read them all.

A thought for consideration.  Would you consider yourself more driven and motivated by results or price?  Either answer is how you should frame your research and I'm not judging; it is okay to answer either way.

If you are a price shopper, Costco or Big Box is a viable solution for average results.  If you are more value focused with results, I would interview two or three hearing aid clinics and select the one that has your best interests in mind and can demonstrate the outcomes you want.  You should definitely test out the aids in the office and look into the satisfaction return policy and any money held back upon return.

Hearing and cognitive brain function are closely linked and multiple studies report on the benefits derived from quality hearing.  A decision to hear better is a smart move and I congratulate you on your decision to move forward on better hearing.

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Hearing Healthcare Provider in Saint George

12 October 2017 - 2.38K Views

I'm going to be brutally honest without all the audiology mumbo jumbo, just for a minute.

How do you define a "premium" hearing aid?  What Costco is selling are not premium hearing aids, despite what they say.  Let me explain my logic.  Technology is advancing very quickly.  We all know it.  When the iphone came out in 2007, it was premium technology.  But now, nobody would call it premium technology.  The iphone 8 just came out.  It is currently selling for about $700.  Less than 2 years ago, that is what the iphone 6 was selling for.  Now it is selling for $100-$200.  Costco is selling hearing aids whose technology is 2-4 years old.  So by technology standards, it is not premium anymore.  In fact, the newest basic models often have superior capabilities than last year's premium models.  Does that mean it won't work for you?  Not necessarily.  But let's just make sure we are using consistent terminology to begin with.

So the answer to the first question is, the average price for premium technology is somewhere around $3200 per device (including followup service and supplies). Depending on where you live and what is included it may be lower or it may be higher.  But if someone is offering premium technology for $1500, they are not telling you the truth about what you are getting.

As to the second question, whether you should buy at costco or from someone else... That is up to you.  Make sure you trust the individual you are working with.

Find out how they plan to verify that the hearing aids you are buying are actually performing correctly for you.  If all they're gonna do is ask you how they sound, then basically they are just throwing mud at a wall and hoping it sticks.  They can and should do better.

If they tell you that one hearing aid is the only possible solution to your problems, then they are looking out for their best interests, not yours.  Hearing aids from the major manufacturers are all good and have roughly equivalent capabilities in similar price ranges.  But every person is different and sometimes the first option just isn't quite right, for no measurable reason.  If your provider is unwilling or unable to change to something else; again, they are either looking out for themselves or they just simply don't have enough humility or knowledge to serve you well.

In other words, make the provider prove to you that the device is working well for your hearing.  They should be able to.

Good luck!

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Board Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist in Hickory

18 October 2017 - 2.13K Views

Average cost of premium hearing aids are from 1800-3000 per device. That is a bundled price which includes service for life of aids, batteries, testing, any office visits needed for adjustments and a course the instruments with 3 year warranties. We feel strongly that we offer the best service and best hearing available. I can't speak for Costo but find that most patient want a personal professional experience when getting help for hearing. We believe in providing the best of service and patient care.

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Doctor of Audiology in Spokane Valley

12 October 2017 - 2.34K Views

I can only give you MY average price for premium, which ranges from $5500-6000 per set.  But what I really want to do is offer a warning!  Just because a hearing aid is 'premium' technology, does not mean you will get 'premium' experience with amplification.  More important than the particular device is the person who is fitting that device for you.  I have seen nightmare fittings for people who have spent $7-8000 on hearing aids thinking they will get a miracle.  But the hearing aids were not set up appropriately for the individual.  I have also seen entry level technology which is set up correctly for an individual be extremely successful!  You need the correct physical fit, features that you know how to use, a provider with expertise in understanding how the individual brain, neurology and physiology affect each unique client when it comes to amplification.  You need to spend more time considering the expertise of your provider than you do the price or technology level of the hearing aid in order to be a successful user of amplification.  I cannot tell you to steer clear of box stores, but please do your homework regarding the person who will be fitting the devices you end up with.

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Discussion

Dave  Harris
Dave Harris 12 October 2017
I suppose it should be important to clarify “premium” hearing aids. The industry is what sets the standards for what is called a premium level hearing aid and Costco has premium level Hearing aids as do independent dispensers. Also, as the previous practitioners mentioned follow-up care is essential to your success and that has a lot to do with the competence of your dispenser. As a Costco dispenser I can tell you that our protocols require “as much as it takes” to care for our patients with follow up adjustments/cleanings/retests/reprogramming etc... Our premium level hearing aids range between $1699 - $2600 (prices may vary slightly per location, but that’s the general range).
SUSAN  FENRICH
SUSAN FENRICH 12 October 2017 Replied to Dave Harris
One thing you did not say is that although COSTCO, may have what they call are "premium"products, the manufactures defeature them so they are not the same as what can be purchased through an independent provider. In addition, some of the hearing aids at COSTCO are "locked". This means that they can only be programmed at another COSTCO store. Should you ever move to where there is no COSTCO, you will be out of luck getting your hearing aids readjusted as your hearing loss changes. COSTCO offers good prices for good products, but long term is the concern.
Member
Member 23 October 2018 Replied to Dave Harris
Hey Dave, what Costco do you work at.  I've seen a post from you someplace else.  If I get a Costco HA I want to get a good hearing aid tech.
Dave  Harris
Dave Harris 23 October 2018 Replied to Member
I hope it was a good comment.  My info is up to date on my profile.  Come check us out in Spanish Fork.
Member
Member 23 October 2018 Replied to Dave Harris

Thanks Dave.  I'm down south in Phoenix, but we have lots of Costcos here.

If I'm not happy with the tech/Aud at a Costco, I assume I can try another at another store?  It looks like you can make an appt. after purchase and get the HA cleaned and tuned up, if needed, for as long as you own them?  I recently lost my 3 year old HA, but my insurance at the time payed around 6000.00, so Costco probably looks to good to be true to most people.  My friend has Kirkland 8.0 and is happy with them.  I'm impressed that this forum has allowed you to post and voice a contrary opinion.  Thanks again.

Dave  Harris
Dave Harris 23 October 2018 Replied to Member

Typically we work by appointment only so yeah I would contact the hearing center and set one up.  You'll have access to any Costco as a member and can receive all the member benefits that are included with that membership, including access to the hearing centers.  Part of our services include cleaning and diagnostic checks on your hearing aid for the life of the device, as well as follow up training and adjustments/re-testing.  As a side note, a lot of manufacturers will include a 2 year loss and damage warranty and there's even one who includes a 3 year loss and damage so make sure to ask for details.  The KS 8.0 is a solid device and the price can't be beat for the quality of the device.  The forum is a great place to learn about differing opinions and as long as we are respectful of our profession and our patients this forum will continue to be a great resource for those seeking information.  I think a few individuals on here have a hard time separating the "business" side of things from the over-all benefit our profession provides to those with hearing loss.  Best of luck to you and your hearing health!  Let me know if I can be of further service.

Member
Member 25 October 2018 Replied to Dave Harris

Thanks for your tips and advise.

Best, Rob

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