Hearing aid markup?

I have had Starkey hearing aids for 5 years and they were OK. I recently got Resound (VO930D ) in ear. ( visible ) They amplify pretty well, but overall I am not sure they are a quality product. I can press 3 buttons to change the setting for different environments, but to be honest, I see no difference at all no matter which one I use. Like my Stakey’s, and probably worse, is using the telephone. It is a balancing act to find a position that does not give feedback, even with the small sticky magnet they give you to put on the handset.
I am wondering if maybe the audiologist did not give me one of the better models. These were $5600 for the pair. I gave him $560 down and submitted the balance to my insurance, which is supposed to pay 100%. My insurance company sent me a detailed invoice that said that the agreed rate with the audiologist was $600 for both and that they had sent him a check for the amount. My out of pocket should be zero. I am now going to contact the audiologist about getting my $560 back. What I don’t understand is how he could possibly make any money on this. I paid $5400 for my Starkeys when they were not covered by insurance, so seeing this freaked me out. I am sure when I ask for the $560 that he will fight me to not give it back. Are the markups on hearing aids this big ?

did you trial before you bought? exactly what did you buy?

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did you trial before you bought? exactly what did you buy?

The Verso 9 is one of the top models on the market, but you purchased a non-wireless ITC version so none of the advanced device-to-device communication features are included. You would have to get the RIC or BTE version if you wanted them. Regarding the insurance, I’m sure there’s some sort of mix-up on the billing. The non-wireless Verso 9 is about $1400 wholesale, so $600 doesn’t even cover the cost of one unit.

Yes, to answer your question the markup is HUGE. That is why it is good to shop around, and Costco pricing is about half of what you pay at the audiologist.

You are fortunate to have insurance coverage – and the audiologist is bound by the insurance company agreement and MUST return your funds to you.

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Yes, to answer your question the markup is HUGE. That is why it is good to shop around, and Costco pricing is about half of what you pay at the audiologist.

You are fortunate to have insurance coverage – and the audiologist is bound by the insurance company agreement and MUST return your funds to you.

Thank you Rasmus, that clears things up a lot. I wrote to Aetna and they said that $600 was the agreed amount for the provider. That does not make sense. Now I am going to ask for my $560 back and see what happens.

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Thank you Rasmus, that clears things up a lot. I wrote to Aetna and they said that $600 was the agreed amount for the provider. That does not make sense. Now I am going to ask for my $560 back and see what happens.

One of my closest friends is an eye surgeon in a large practice in a nearby city. I told him I recently lost one HA and that I wanted to upgrade, except for the cost. He said he had an audiologist in his practice (which I did not realize) and he said if I could tell him what I wanted, he’d get it for me at cost. I think I may find out the mark-up on this. I am thinking of the new Linx (with all the goodies)–so any guesses at the wholesale price?

The LiNX 9 sells for about $1550.

Is that the one with the iPhone etc?
Is that for one or 2?
Thanks!

My audi wants me to buy the new Rexton Strata 2 c with streamer etc. for about $8500. So what’s the markup on 2 of those? Something tells me he is really high. My nearest Cosco is more than 2 hours away, but I am thinking outside the box. Interestingly, I live in Florida, which forbids audiologists to have anything to do with something not purchased in Florida. Nice monopoly.

This was not my experience when I moved to Florida. Can you cite the source?

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This was not my experience when I moved to Florida. Can you cite the source?

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I read in another thread that Costco Rexton Quintra is equivalent to Strata. They are $2600 for two at my Costco (and they were giving choice of either bluetooth remort or ‘charge and dry’ for free). $5000 might be worth the drive.

The Strata 18 wholesales for about $1350/ea., and the Mini Blu RCU is $375, but there’s a package deal for a pair + Mini Blu for $2650.

I have been reading a lot on this forum since deciding to get hearing aids. I don’t know who Rasmus is or what that person does but Rasmus is an encyclopedia of knowledge and it is wonderful to have someone like that on the forum. I have learned a bunch from this Forum. Thanks

Here’s a news article. ALso I have the law. I tried to buy a replacement for the one I lost online, but they said they could ship every state but Florida. If I buy, I will have to ship to my sister in another state and have her forward. My audi (and another) said they would not program ones bought out of state, although one did program some temps for me figuring he’d sell me expensive ones soon. I don’t mind paying for a service and I don’t mind paying for a good product, I mind the lack of competition–it’s either private audiologists or Cosco, as far as I can tell, and the huge mark-up. I can afford something good every 5-6 years, but I am well aware of folks who can’t afford to hear at all. They can’t afford dentistry either.

So the markup is bizarrely high! I realize these guys do a service and we want to have excellent programming and to come back for repairs and fittings, but even at say $200 a service visit, this is too high. Rasmus, I assume you are in the business and appreciate your generous information. I’ve been wearing HA for almost 20 years and feel like I should not have passively purchased from my doctor’s provider. Now I’m trying all ideas.
What do people think of the Strata? I would love to have the Linx if the sound is as good as Strata. My big issue is needing something for hearing speech in meetings, courtroom settings (I usually use an assisted device), and family conversations, and phones.

if it’s a FL law why would you expect an AuD to risk his license?

Due to FL Statute 484.054, we are not allowed to mail a hearing aid to the ultimate consumer.

This is why you will never see any Hearing Aid Company selling online from Florida.

so why do folks seem pissed a AuDs who won’t program an online hearing aid sent to aunt olive and then forward to FL? be pissed at the sate of FL

I am not annoyed with the audi, but the state law is the only one that is so punitive. If I could save more than 50% of the price on a car by going out of state to buy and have it trucked in, that would be great. But if Florida won’t register it, I would have a problem. Florida would be protecting its dealers. There is a very difficult line between consumers and competition and professionals and protecting their turf. In many ways this is similar to issues that midwives and podiatrists face. My annoyance is heightened when we are talking about a major health issue and affordability. I don’t begrudge anyone a fair deal–consumer or professional.

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I am not annoyed with the audi, but the state law is the only one that is so punitive. If I could save more than 50% of the price on a car by going out of state to buy and have it trucked in, that would be great. But if Florida won’t register it, I would have a problem. Florida would be protecting its dealers. There is a very difficult line between consumers and competition and professionals and protecting their turf. In many ways this is similar to issues that midwives and podiatrists face. My annoyance is heightened when we are talking about a major health issue and affordability. I don’t begrudge anyone a fair deal–consumer or professional.

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Indeed, Goldfish, $5000 is worth the drive!

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Indeed, Goldfish, $5000 is worth the drive!