Why are hearing aid prices so low at Affordable Hearing Aid Center?
We focus on premium hearing aid service, not sales, and save you money in two ways:
1. Low retail mark-ups on wholesale hearing aid prices. 2. Flat-Rate for professional fitting service and pay-as-you-go follow-up service.
Low retail mark-ups on wholesale prices At Affordable Hearing Aid Center we use the same low retail mark-up on every hearing aid we order from the manufacturer. Other hearing aid dispensing practices typically mark-up premium hearing aids more than basic hearing aids, and so make more profit on premium priced hearing aids. At Affordable Hearing Aid Center we have no profit incentive to recommend one hearing aid over another, and we are free to recommend the hearing aid that gives you the best value, given your particular hearing needs and financial position.
Flat-Rate Service It is standard practice in the hearing aid business to bundle the cost of the hearing aids, fitting service and future follow-up office visits into one lump sum. You as the patient are then asked to pay this bundled price up front. At Affordable Hearing Aid Center we separate the cost of the hearing aids from our service, and have you pay only for the service you use. We charge a flat $199 fee per hearing aid for our professionally licensed hearing aid specialist to accurately fit and adjust the hearing aids for the first 60 days. You pay the same $199 fee for fitting basic to premium hearing aids. Follow-up appointments after the first 60 days are $40 per 30 minute visit. Drop-off/pick-up service not requiring an office consult, such as routine cleaning and maintenance, is $20 for one hearing aid, $25 for two hearing aids.
This plan can mean huge financial savings for you. Most people paying the traditional price for hearing aids are unaware that usually $500 - $1500 (or more) of the price of each hearing aid is the retail mark-up that the dispenser charges for performing the initial fitting and all those "free office visits for 3 years". Those "free" office visits, however, are notfree - you are paying the dispenser in advance for follow-up care, whether you intend to use it or not. If you rarely come in for follow-up care, move to another city or have a falling out with the dispenser, no money is given back. If the dispenser moves or goes out of business, no money is given back. At Affordable Hearing Aid Center you will not pay in advance for future follow-up care, but only for the appointments you need at $40 per visit. By charging you reasonable prices for only the services you use, we can save you $100's to $1000's on the up-front cost of a pair of hearing aids. Since 2-4 office visits a year is typical, you can expect to pay $80-$160 a year in follow-up hearing aid service.
Traditional Pricing: Mary purchases a pair of mid-priced hearing aids for $4200 with a 45-day trial period, and the dispenser is including 3 years of free office visits. The dispenser paid $1800 for the pair and marked them up 133% to arrive at the $4200 retail price. Here the dispenser is charging the patient $2400 above the wholesale price. If we allow the dispenser $200 in compensation for shipping, handling and product testing, and $400 for the necessary initial fitting service and follow-up visits during the 60-day trial period, then the dispenser is charging the patient $1800 for additional follow-up office visits that the patient may or may not use! A typical hearing aid patient will make 2-4 office visits a year for various hearing aid issues. If Mary averages 2 office visits a year for 3 years, she is paying the dispenser $300 per office visit, or $600 per hour! At 4 office visits per year she is paying $150 per office visit, or $300 per hour.
Flat-Rate Pricing: Mary purchases the same mid-priced hearing aids for $2398 with a 45-day trial period, which includes fitting service and office visits for the first 60 days, paying $398 for the flat $199 fitting rate per hearing aid, and $2000 for the hearing aids (paying $200 above the dispensers cost of $1800 for the shipping/handling/instrument testing fee). After the 60-day trial period is over, Mary now pays $40 per office visit. Over three years, if Mary makes 2 office visits a year, she pays $240 for office visits, bringing her total price for the hearing aids and 3 years of follow-up service to $2638, $1562 less than the traditional price. If Mary averages 4 office visits a year, her total cost is $1322 less than the traditional price.
What are the steps to being fitted with a hearing aid?
Being fitted with a hearing aid is a three step process:
1. Initial Consultation At this first appointment, you will meet with the Jay Drelinger who will discuss your communication needs and pertinent medical history. Jay will also perform a thorough hearing evaluation. After a discussion of your results and individual communication needs, he will give you a recommendation for a hearing aid trial. The choice of hearing aid will be based on a discussion of your hearing, lifestyle, budget and cosmetic desire. Ear impressions will be taken at this time if needed. There is no charge for this appointment.
2. Hearing Aid Fitting Appointment Jay will professionally fit your hearing aid(s), using state-of-the-art equipment to verify the correct hearing aid output, as well as getting feedback from you as to the volume, quality and clarity of sound as you listen to a variety of talkers and environmental sounds. Hearing aid care and maintenance will be reviewed. Payment for your hearing aids will be made at this time. Your 45-day trial begins at this appointment, and at any time during the next 45 days you may return your hearing aid(s) for a full 100% refund.
3. Follow-Up Appointments During the next few weeks, you will be asked to return to our office to see Jay to 'fine tune' your hearing aids. Especially if you are a new hearing aid user, there is usually an initial period of a few weeks where you are adapting to your new awareness of sound. During this time your sound preferences may change and the hearing aid settings may need to be changed. Several office visits may be needed to make these changes, as well as to troubleshoot communication situations that continue to be a problem. While hearing aids cannot be expected to solve all of your communication problems, Jay will use these follow-up visits to help you get the very best from your new hearing aids.
How long will my hearing aid last?
A good rule of thumb is to expect your hearing aids to last 5 years, though perhaps with some manufacturer repairs included during that time. Hearing aid technology is constantly being updated and upgraded, and the true longevity of emerging technology is not really known. Usually after 5 years hearing aid technology has changed enough that when a repair is needed on your current hearing aids, you will consider putting the money you would spend on a repair towards the purchase of new hearing aids that will enhance your hearing even more.
What kind of manufacturer warranty comes with my new hearing aid?
When you purchase new hearing aids, they will come with a Repair Warranty, and a Loss & Damage Warranty from the manufacturer. The typical warranty duration is 1 to 3 years, and additional years of manufacturer warranty can usually be purchased. The Repair Warranty covers any repairs and servicing that is needed during the warranty period to the internal electronics of the hearing aid. Repairs needed on the external shell casing (e.g. cracked shell) are typically covered for one year from the date of purchase. Loss and Damage warranty covers a one time replacement of the hearing aid if it is lost or damaged beyond repair, and there is a deductible that you will need to pay, typically $350 per replaced hearing aid.
What happens if I lose my hearing aid?
If your hearing aid is still covered for Loss and Damage, a replacement hearing aid (same model and style) can be ordered from the manufacturer. You will pay a deductible of $350 for each lost hearing aid. The Loss and Damage warranty does not cover earmolds, just the hearing aid itself. If the hearing aid was custom made (in-the-ear), has a custom made receiver that sits in the ear, or uses an earmold, a new earmold impression will need to be made in our office before a replacement hearing aid can be ordered. Once the hearing aid is received from the manufacturer, it will be programmed to match the previous hearing aid settings, and you will be fitted with your replacement hearing aid.
The manufacturer's Loss and Damage warranty covers a one time replacement only, so if you want to continue to have warranty coverage for loss and damage, you can obtain coverage via a third party hearing aid insurer like ESCO (arranged through our office).
What happens if my hearing aid is out of warranty and needs repair?
Unless the hearing aid is a very old model, we will usually be able to send it in to the manufacturer for an out-of-warranty repair for about $250. With this repair you will also receive from the manufacturer a one-year repair warranty, and so any additional repairs needed during the ensuing year will be covered at no additional charge.
If your manufacturer repair warranty has expired, you can also get warranty coverage through a hearing aid insurance company like ESCO.
Thank you for taking the time to explain what you were recommending and why. I have worn hearing aids for over 20 years, and no one has taken the time like you did. Your explanations were very clear and I had a good experience from start to finish.
I was very surprised and happy to save over $1200 on my Phonak hearing aid compared to what I was quoted by other hearing aid providers - thank you for offering the newest technology at such reasonable prices!
Over the years, I have purchased 3 sets of hearing aids from you. I always receive great service, friendly and very professional treatment and low prices! I love my hearing aids! I'm telling all my friends and family about you.