Hi, I have been lurking here for over a year or so, trying to gain as much knowledge as possible about hearing aids, and now I am compelled to post this in hopes somebody can relate and advise on my problem/issue.
Put plainly I have what I think is “moderate” to maybe borderline severe hearing loss. I need hearing aids and have needed them for years (I’m an ex-rock musician). I cannot afford much; at least I cannot afford to spend more than two or three thousand dollars on them. I am living on Social Security and have no hearing insurance. I have saved a few thousand dollars but not the 6-8k I gather it would cost to get the newest, best aids and fitting from an audiologist or one of the various franchise stores.
Compounding the problem is that I am in a very, very rural location in the middle of the north woods. The nearest place that fits and sells hearing aids is over 45 miles/1 hour away. These locations are for brands I don’t feel comfortable with; e.g.; Beltone, MiracleEar, Starkey-exclusive stores. There are literally 6-8 of these types of businesses all within an hour to hour ½ from here. There are no other independent audiologists or HIS other than at the small local hospital, and they make it pretty clear the only way to offset their sky-high prices with them is to use their insurance (the hospital system just happens to own and sell their own health insurance).
Of course I know about Costco, and would be all-in to go that route; prices well within my savings range, long trial period, variety of name brands etc. But, the nearest Costco is 210 miles away (3 ½ hour drive each way). I would be good with that drive if I knew I would only need to make 1 or 2 trips. Has anybody had experience with that long a drive to get fitted at Costco?
I am also hesitant to consider online/mail-order route, but mostly because I just don’t know enough about people’s actual experiences with that approach. I also see questionable satisfaction with those type aids. Oh, and I know beggers can’t be choosers, but I really worry about fidelity, being a music lover and musician.
I would really appreciate any insights, opinions and advice anybody might have as to how to get going in the right direction.