Like all other medical care, quality hearing care is expensive.
While we at Heuser Hearing Institute understand the challenges related to the cost of hearing health care, we believe that building a relationship with a local provider who knows your needs will lead to the best outcomes in hearing care. We also understand that there are many options out there for hearing care, one of which is purchasing hearing aids online.
As part of a team that feels a sense of responsibility to our patients, we believe it is important to make sure you are well educated so you can make the best decisions going forward.
For that reason, we would like to relay some information for your consideration.
From time to time, you may see some variations when comparing local providers. One of the reasons is that different providers are paid at different rates, which translates to a difference in the cost of hearing aids.
Additionally, providers are prohibited by law from discussing pricing with each other. Sharing pricing information can lead to price fixing, an illegal practice that is harmful to patients and can drive up prices and reduce competition. This is why you will see variations in price among local providers.
Large differences in pricing for the same product typically only occur when shopping for hearing aids online. Hearing aids found online tend to be cheaper because you are usually paying for devices only, with no service.
When devices are purchased online, you often still need to find a local provider who will service your instruments and pay them for their time and expertise. We have studied these situations and found that there is typically little to no savings for patients in the long run.
However, it is still your decision to proceed in the manner in which you are most comfortable, so we advise you to pose the following questions to any potential online hearing aid provider:
Who will fit the hearing aids? This includes the physical fit as well as the programming.
Can programming be adjusted after the initial fit?
What are the procedures for doing so (e.g., do you return the hearing aids to the online company to be adjusted, leaving you without hearing aids temporarily, or will they send you programming equipment and require you to make your own adjustments?
Or will you need to find a local provider and incur the additional expense of paying them for their time and expertise?
Have you priced this option out by asking local providers what their fees are for services?)
Real ear measurements ensure the hearing aids are performing at their peak function for your specific hearing loss and ear anatomy. How will this verification be completed in an online purchase?
How long is the warranty?
Does the warranty cover any kind of issue with the hearing aids or only selected issues?
Is there a policy against loss and damage? If so, how much is the deductible?
When a repair is needed, how will the hearing aids be serviced? If they must be sent in for repair, will you be offered loaner aids or will you be without hearing aids until yours are fixed?
There is additional information to consider. Hearing aid manufacturers have taken legal action against certain websites for selling their hearing aids illegally. But in the fast world of internet sales, by the time they shut down one site, another pops up in its place.
Certain manufacturers have taken the additional step of refusing to honor warranties when devices were either purchased or sold illegally by an unlicensed entity.
The website you purchase from won’t share this information with you, meaning that if your devices ever need repairing and were sourced from a batch purchased and/or sold illegally by the website, the manufacturer will charge you personally for any and all repairs and may even confiscate the hearing aids.
We understand you are receiving information from multiple sources and hope you will add our voice to the mix.
At Heuser, the majority of hearing aids purchased come with a three-year warranty and loss and damage coverage as well as services to fit, verify, clean and update programming on those hearing aids for three years.
After that time, you have the option to pay for services on an as-needed basis, or you can opt to save money by purchasing a service contract for an additional one, three or five years.
Heuser Hearing Institute thanks you for choosing us to assist you with your hearing health care.