There are many misconceptions around the treatment of hearing loss and the cost is likely most confusing. With advertisements arriving in your mailbox daily offering coupons and discounts, it’s impossible to compare “apples to apples”.
Hearing aids have traditionally been sold in a bundled service model. Patients pay for their devices as well as any professional services that could be needed through their devices’ warranty period at the time of purchase. By pre-paying for these services, it drives the initial investment higher. Follow up visits with their audiologist during the 3-year warranty period are completed at no charge because they have paid for these visits in advance. This model can be preferred for patients who require more ongoing care. However, the initial investment can be out of the budget of many patients, sometimes delaying treatment.
An unbundled service delivery model allows a patient to pay for their devices and only the services through the evaluation & adjustment period. The initial investment is much lower because follow up care becomes “pay-as-you-go”. This can make the cost of getting hearing help more financially manageable. By only paying for what you need and use, unbundled plans provide transparency. Should you move out of the area, decide to winter in warmer climates, or choose to switch providers you also are not locked in with any prepaid services.
The treatment of hearing loss is much more than a device. Your hearing loss, your communication situations, and your ear anatomy are unique to you. The amount of follow up care required varies between patients. Seek an audiologist that tailors your treatment plan to your specific needs and your budget, by following a methodical process of best practices. There is no one size fits all.
If you’d like more information regarding this or other hearing healthcare topics visit Dr. Austin’s blog at www.SLAaudiology.com .