Has anyone purchased hearing aids from Costco using insurance? Was the Costco hearing test all that was needed by the insurance company, (as far as a hearing test is concerned). My insurance wants me to pay the provider, then they will reimburse me.
I got hearing aids at Costco and submitted my paperwork (including the necessary ENT’s report that I was a suitable candidate for aids) to United Healthcare about a month ago. I’ve heard nothing so far.
I purchased my hearing aids from Costco a little over 2.5 years ago and they have been fine. I don’t have insurance that cover the cost of the hearing aids, so I cannot answer your questions in that regard. I would, however, highly recommend that you get your hearing testing by an ENT’s office before making such a large investment. There may be better options and I would bet that the ENT’s office will be more thorough in their evaluation. You can then take the results (audiograph) to Costco and they can use that to program your hearing aids. I’ve always done that.
I did use my Flexible Spending Account without any problem when purchasing my HA’s at Costco. I actually have an appointment on Jan 2nd to go in and buy a new pair (my hearing has decreased, so I need stronger aids now.)
I have Blue Cross/Blue Shield with the Federal Employees Program, was hoping someone on here may have had the same insurance.
I have the same insurance (Blue Cross/Blue Shield federal) but I did not buy from Costco. I bought online from America Hears (a mistake). BC/BS reimbursed me with no problems. I recently sent in a claim for the repair of the aids. From what I have been told, they should reimburse me for the repair.
Next year I will be eligible for new aids from my insurance company (the amount will be increased to $1,500 then). I may purchase from Costco and maybe not. The insurance will pay 85 % up to $1,500, from preferred providers (audiologists in their program) and 65% from others. I will have to do the math and see which is cheaper for me. Good luck
Hmm, They told me they pay $1000 for each aid , every 36 months. I put off buying mine until January, when they up the payment to $1250 each. I’ve been dealing with a regular audiologist for the past 6 or 7 years, and am just fed up with the way they do business. I went to Costco, and the person there, ( not an audiologist, I’m sure ) did a much more complete testing of my ears than the other one ever did. And for the price the “REAL” audiologist wanted to charge me for a basic aid, I’ll be getting the top of the line aid, plus bluetooth, remote, and tv adapter. a much better deal, as far as I’m concerned. Also, up until now, I’ve been paying the whole price myself, didn’t know they covered hearing aids.
I think I’ve done my research pretty well, and decided to go with Costco aids, best prices, best warranty, (three years), and best products as far as I’m concerned.
I find this hard to believe. And if it is the case, then the Audiologist should be ashamed of themself. We are first, and foremost, diagnosticians who train extensively to diagnose conditions dealing with hearing and balance. If they are failing at that, well then they need a little re-evaluation about what their profession means to them and why they are doing what they do.
Well, that’s very true,normally they rush me in and out, the last straw was the last time I was there, the receptionist was the one who checked my ears, I guess the other two were too busy to see me!!
Go to whoever you are most comfortable with, and have a high level of trust. The problem with chains, like Costco, Sam’s club, HearX and Belltone is high turnover. Having someone who you can relate to and understands your needs are important, but when the specialist leaves or is in a different office, that does you no good.
I support chains because they lower prices. Eventually the industry will clean up its act and offer “user-friendly” products. Support from independents can be just as bad or worse with high prices.
My Costco audi has a degree. The last independent I went to had a BA and some fitting certificate. He was no more adroit at fitting than the Costco one year graduate but certainly more arrogant and cost double.
The HC audi before that was pushing tin and the one before that was an older person who should have retired or joined the military - “you will do this!”
Hi Ho: The real advantage with Costco is that the people are not paid according to how many hearing aids they sell, but are simply paid hourly. This gives them more incentive to take the time to really provide the best fit possible.
Actually, this isn’t true. Think about it. Someone who sells you a hearing aid and gets a bonus for it doesn’t get the bonus for selling the aid, they get the bonus when you KEEP the hearing aid. So it’s VERY much in their interest to do everything possible to ensure that you are satisfied and happy so that you will keep the hearing aid so they can collect their bonus. You buy and aren’t happy and return? Well there’s money that’s out of their pocket. People are quick to jump on commissions or bonuses, but it actually works in favor of the buyer just as much as the professional.
Someone who just collects a paycheck has no vested interest, other than the goodness of their heart/ethical standards, in you keeping the hearing aid. They get paid the same whether you buy or not.
I think one of the problems with buying from Costco is that the good audis will soon leave for a better position and Costco management will be under pressure to find just any replacement who may or may not be good so you may end up with someone who you do not trust.
You need to evaluate the firm from whom you are buying as to how long they have been in the business and what are their ratings on Yelp, Angie’s List, Consumers’ CheckBook, BBB and possibly specialized medical professional rating websites or state licensing boards. Then if your particular audi within a long established, highly rated firm is an owner or partner you can get one clue as to their competence and how long they will be around.
i am sure it varies from state to state as to who can get a license and the training, experience and qualifications for getting one. One audi said some old timers were grandfathered in and implied they may not be that good, so simply having many years in the business is not a overriding factor.
I have read many posts here and no one seems to write about training. I did not catch the name of one of the audis when I first met and she repeated it and put doctor in front of it. At that point I did not know there were such things as doctors of audiology and I thought she was implying she was an Md even though she was very young.
Anyway while my audi has 40 years in the business she has much more than just a lot of experience - she has a lot of training to boot:
B.A. in Speech Pathology & Audiology - UConn
MA in Audiology - Univ of Iowa
Au.D - AZ School of Health Sciences
and professional experience at Mass Eye and Ear, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, NY University, and as Director of Audiology at Union Hospital
You nailed it on the head. You need to develop a relationship with the person caring for your hearing. You can not do this if you do not see the same person each and every time you go. You MAY get lower prices at a chain, but you mat NOT, you must do your homework. But there is more to a hearing aid than just purchasing a device.
Going back to the example of mom and pop electronic stores, they were phased out because of Best Buy, Costco & BJs. Well I never developed a relationship with the salesperson, I simply made a purchase, and it did not matter if I saw the same salesperson on my next visit. Enjoy the Holidays!
We generally agree here that the hearing professional needs to be skilled in programming the products they sell. That does not equate to having college degrees.
Many of us have had disasters from Au.D and better results from a HIS. Many of us have said that you cannot look at the degrees to determine skill. The only way I know of determining that is through experience. either your experience or other successful clients.
People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care!
It’s too bad that Audiologists and Dispensers are selling hardware. Many years ago it was considered unethical.
There is a conflict of interest between the parties as the aids can have just a couple hundred dollars of gross profit to several thousand dollars of GP.
Does the patient really need all the bells and whistles of the $6,000 aids or would their comprehension be just as good with the $3,000 model? Yes, there is a conflict of interest when professionals sell merchandise.
There is also a hidden conflict when a manufacturer markets a basic aid and also takes the identical aid and adds marginally usefull software driven features for twice the retail price.
If your income is dependent on selling hardware with vastly different gross profit, it takes a rare person to resist this conflict of interest.
The way aids are merchandised is fraught with these kinds of potenial problems and putting Dr. in front of a name, donning a white coat does not make certain a perfect relationship. IMO Ed
I am sorry that you feel that way Ed. I do hope the prices that you are quoting are for a pair. I fit hearing aids that cost $6000 a pair, and hearing aids that cost $3000 a pair, and less. A home bound senior does not need all of the features of a more expensive hearing aid, and I do tell that to my patients. Some practices only recommend the most expensive products. I give choices, and let my patients decide.
When I visited a local Audi, I noted on her wall a Phd in Audiology from PA [I live in OR]. When I ask her about it, she told me she got it On-Line and correspondence. I do not belittle that because a lot of people have educated themselves very well through correspondence schools and more On-Line fully accredited courses are being offered by such institutions like Yale. Here’s what she told me about the law: You MUST have your Phd in audiology in order to prescribe hearing aids…??? Does that make her more competent than the Costco, or any other tech???