How did you pay for your hearing aids?

This is my first post.

I am a poor college student who is in desperate need of new hearing aids (my current one hurts my ear, and the other one is broken). Even with my student discount, the price is steep (about $1200 an aid…apparently very cheap compared to others).

So i’m throwing this out there to get some possible ideas (esp. for any college students who post here):

How did you pay for yours? :confused:

Health Insurance? Vocational Rehabilitation? A Personal Loan?

I have hears Rexton have a special program through the lions club where
they made hearing aids very accesible if you can prove in fact you have low income, dont expect hearing aids with all the bells and whistle but im think
basic 2 chanel hearing aids…

got to check them out

Hi hh73

You might ask your Audiologist if they will finance your hearing aids and let you make payments, at least until you graduate and get a job. It doesn’t cost anything to ask. :slight_smile:

Dag

I went through this issue in grad school. I ended up persuading the school to front the cost.

Other ideas:
(1) If you are taking out student loans, you could use some of the loan money to pay for aids. Other students use their excess loan funds to go on vacation and buy cars, so why not?

(2) If you are in California, the state’s vocational rehab dept will pay for them; long process in applying but worth a shot.

(3) Check out the Lion’s club.

(4) Part-time job and pay for them yourself with financing?

How did I pay for mine?..Through the nose.:eek: It’s a scam. It’s like the “funeral industry” they know you have to be buried and you got no choice but to pay through the nose for it. When Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, realize the vast market, with baby boomers and their hearing problems, for hearing aids; you will be able to buy them from Best Buy for $500.

They then would probably be shipped with a CD/DVD and a USB cable to adjust them through your computer yourself. Or via a WEB setup solution with the manufacturer after faxing/sending in your hearing tests. Kind of a mass-marketing of the “America Hears” concept.

After all, you can go to your local Pharmacy and buy glasses to correct your vision. So why not your hearing? An Optomatrist would object to what I just said and suggest a thousand reasons why you shoulden’t, just the same as Audioalogist’s would do for hearing, but (in the case of eyesight), it exists very well.

Then I could own something comparable to what I have now. Except I could shut down the abnormally high frequencies the Audio and manufacturers seem to think I need, even though I have only middle frequencie hearing loss. Why they think I need more than what God designed me for and gave me (that is working perfectly well), I don’t know. I could change the high frequencies back to a God given normal setting before that is ruined too.:cool:

a bad hearing aid fitting can lead to a even further hearing loss,
i would not want to have that burden…
most audis, are trained and are aware of the dangers of a hearing aid which is poorly fitted…

I should also ad that unlike glasses,( which has no learning curve) you put them on and presto, there is nothing to do… But hearing aids, needs counceling…

Counceling or corporate sponsored training leading to our brainwashing? Whoever made us, God or otherwise (depending on your belief), got it right the first time. I just need the deteriorated part restored to that and nothing more.

I am older than you and am thankful that I could afford to pay cash for my HA. I think that you can probably set up an account and make payments with most companies. I have read that in my area, Easter Seals fits HA and you can set up an account; I would think that they would have good HA and fair prices. Might be worth checking out. :wink:

Many offices offer financing. I would look for one that does.

NumbEars- I know you and I have butted heads before on this forum and I always appreciate your opinion. Let me make a respectful rebutal…

If fitting hearing aids were as simple as just turning back up the frequencies that were lost, or clicking a button on a computer and making the perfect fitting, I feel that you are exactly correct.

However, sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL), as most on this forum are experiencing, is not the same as vision loss. I wear glasses. I have Myopia. My optic nerve functions perfectly. So, fitting me with glasses is just a matter of changing the way the light bounces in there, and… presto, I see perfectly. With SNHL, there is deterioration of nerve function in the cochlea. The first thing to go is the compressive non-linearity of the system (outer hair cells). This causes people with hearing loss to have a narrower dynamic range than normal hearing individuals, thus, turning up softer sounds helps, but turning up louder sounds is dangerous. The next thing to go is usually the inner hair cells. Inner hair cell loss leads to distortion of neural signals, poor speech understanding, even for moderately loud sounds, and ulimately cochlear dead regions, for which amplification may not be beneficial at all.

I am not trying to justify the cost of hearing aids, but the need for a knowlegable professional that understands these concepts (among many others) and the hearing aid parameters that correspond to them is (in my opinion) of significant value. How I assign that value and how someone else may, could be completely different. A well educated professional can make this experience extremely pleasant, whereas lack of knowledge can make the hearing aid experience terrible.

Lest you feel that I am trying to defend my own high prices, let me explain how I handle the recommendation of hearing aids. My prices range from 2000 a pair to 6000 a pair. After a complete examination to rule out the need for medical evaluation or treatment, I discuss options at various price points with my patients. I never recommend only the high end, but sometimes do recommend more of an entry level device. If the patient opts to try them, they take the hearing aids on a 100% no obligation trial period. That is, if they return them, it costs them 0. Thus, at the end of the trial period, each patient can decide if the benefit he or she has seen is worth the cost in their real-world environment. Finally, if the patient opts to keep the hearing aids, we offer no interest payment plans for up to 5 years.

As I have stated many times on this forum, one of the biggest investments you are making with a hearing aid, is in the professional and in their expertise and policies. A very competent professional can make almost any hearing aid work well and to the maximum limits of it’s capabilities.

If you can prove you are poor, there is a program called Hear Now, a charity wing of Starkey. They will provide amazing digital hearing aids for $200 total if your income and assets are below a certain level (I think about $12,000).

If you are not that poor, consider financing or a student loan.

http://www.sotheworldmayhear.org/contactus/

Contact one of the Hear Now coordinators and ask if your situation can get you any help. It’s a great program, and there really is no catch. Even the $200 you pay is just an application fee, the aids are free, and the specialist donates his time for free.

Just because something is expensive does not make it a scam. If hearing professionals like me drove Aston Martins and lived in mansions, then I would suggest you had a point. But the bottom line on a typical hearing aid business is no better or worse than any other similar office. So to call it a scam is simply baseless and unreasonable.

So after Sony, Panasonic et al have put hearing professionals out of business with this model you propose, where are these test results coming from?

It takes years of experience and product knowledge to successfully program hearing aids well. To assume you could just do it yourself with no qualifications or training is a little unrealistic.

Why would their be any correlation? Just because hearing and vision are human senses doesn’t mean they are the same. By the same argument, if I can go to the pharmacy and buy some Tylenol, why can’t I just go there and buy Vicodin over the counter?

Also the kinds of reading glasses you buy in Walgreens are clearly different from some professionally fitted contact lenses. Similarly, there is nothing stopping a person buying hearing amplifiers over the Internet. Just don’t expect them to be as good as professionally fitted hearing instruments.

It sounds like you have not had a great experience with your hearing aids. But this does not mean that all hearing aids and hearing professionals are the same as what you have experienced.

Sadly, once the nerves have stopped working it is no longer possible to give you back what God gave you. We can just work with what’s left and try and aid it as best we can. That’s why they are called hearing aids, not hearing restorers.

hh73 I can so sympathise with your situation. I was in your situation as of mid 2006. It’s hard not to feel incredibly helpless. And often you have no idea who to turn to or how to get what you need so badly.

I was fortunate to have a friend lend me money that I am currently paying back. $6000 AU is a lot to pay. No discounts or nothing. In Australia once you turn 21 you are no longer eligible for any HA. After that you either have to be very poor or get a loan. There is a HA bank in capital cities here for a small fee but that was not available from the distance I would have had to travel over 1500km!

strongly suggest a mid price instrument there are great choices out there…
Mid range instruments have a good balance between features and pricing…
Pick one of the top companies…

I agree with you whole hartedly. Most on the forum should follow your instructions completely. But, at least in my case (a much simpler one), as some others may have here also; don’t need the complexity of all of that but are treated like that anyway. Just give me a boost in the middle frequencies and all would have been well.