Newbie needs some help before getting first HA's


#21

And at $2800 you could get your hearing aids where you get your toilet paper and be quite pleased with both.

Any audi’s “lowest pair we have” should be free to you after insurance. The question is, how much are you willing to spend to get better technology and more features? For me, that amount hovers around $1000. You need to figure out your price range, and find someone who will work within that range.

As the old saying goes around here, the fitter is as important, if not more important than, the brand of aid. You need to find a fitter you like and trust, and the one you found is not it.


#22

Still a bit in awe that Americans would pay 6k$ for hearing aids. That would come down to 5250€.

The ultimate high price hearing aids from the expensive shops in the Netherlands tops at about 4500€. Currently that place is reserved for ReSound’s LinX Quattro and the new Widex model. Oticon OPN1’s are about 4000€ from those suppliers as opposed to 3200€ for OPN’s from new initiatives that come to your home and fine tune over the web.
Cheapest is to get OPN’s straight from Denmark for 2850€, apparently. (Someone mentioned that on this forum.)

Still, it’s all a very long way from the mentioned prices. Especially asin the Neherlands all those expensive aids are not covered by health care, but by tax returns: Roughly 1/3 of the costs is returned as an income tax reduction.


#23

I’m 66 and like you, my hearing loss is moderate to severe. About 6 weeks ago I got my first ever HA’s from Costco. They fitted me with Phonak Brio R-C’s for $2600 for the pair. So far I’ve been very happy with them.


#24

You might want to check out TruHearing.com. I am in Texas and they have a contract in Texas to provide HA’s through a local provider at a substantial discount and BCBS-TX guarantees in advance that they will pay a reimbursement to TruHearing (if everything is kosher). My allowance is $1,000 per ear every 3 years currently. The BCBS-TX reps I’ve spoken to have always been courteous and knowledgeable.

Here is a link to their product catalog.

You can see what they say is the average retail price of almost any make/model of HA vs. their up-front price.

Depending on the brand you want, they may have trouble matching you with an audi near you who is knowledgeable in that particular brand. I’d be sure to ask of the audi up front before you go this route whether the audi will do Real Ear Measurements in fitting or can do it if you pay extra and how much that will cost. Here is the (long-winded) cost story of my purchase of ReSound Quattro’s through TruHearing that I pm’d to someone else. The bill has been settled and my cost for two was $2,390 but for the rechargeable Quattro 9 61’s, the Li-ion battery charger case is an (obviously) required accessory not included in the cost. I had to pay $175 extra for that and I got a Phone Clip+ Bluetooth streamer since I am an Android phone user for $180 more (you can stream directly to an iPhone if you have that).

" I got my Quattro’s through TruHearing.com. They picked a local audiologist to dispense them and I was happy with the one they sent me to. The Quattro’s cost $2,195 each but my Blue Cross-Blue Shield(BCBS) PPO plan offers $1,000 per ear every three years for hearing aid fitting. The charger case was not included in the TruHearing price and that was $175 extra. The Phone Clip+ was $180, a better price than Costco, which was a little over $200. But TruHearing said that they don’t sell accessories, just the HA’s, so presumably I was buying at least the Phone Clip+ through my audi. She wanted $320 for the Multi-Mic, that’s why I went to Costco where I could get it for $267. The audiologist did not do Real Ear Measurement at my initial fitting but when I asked her if she would/could do it, she said that she could and would just charge $40 but we haven’t yet found a mutually suitable time for that follow-up. The TruHearing contract says that you only get 3 fitting sessions with the audiologist but the one I went to said she wouldn’t hold me to that and didn’t believe in charging for additional fittings. I told her that I plan to see her on a yearly basis to get a new audiogram, which my Medicare B and BCBS will cover as a medical exam (but I didn’t ask if she’ll want more than what they cover as her fee) and I’ll pay the $40 for an annual REM test, too, if all goes according to plan. Hope that helps you envision the cost scheme I’m proceeding under. The total bill that TruHearing submitted to BCBS was $8,780! - but obviously BCBS, in the crazy medical insurance scheme where astronomical prices are charged but only partially reimbursed, denied almost half of that and my cost for both HA’s was just $2,390, after the $1K per ear allowance."

Update: My experience with TruHearing reps over the phone has been variable. But I’d say overall my experience through TruHearing has been professional and I’d want to use them again, if the OTC revolution after August, 2020, doesn’t totally change the landscape (maybe another reason not to splurge too much right now; you may have buyer’s remorse if prices drop considerably after the availability of OTC self-programmed HA’s for mild to moderate loss after August, 2020). Some TruHearing reps seem to have more time to answer your questions than others and it seems like you have to go out of your way to ask for contact information to get locked into one rep - otherwise, it will probably be a different rep that you speak to every time that you call up… ~All the reps that I spoke to were knowledgeable and could answer my questions.


#25

Thanks for this. I went to the site. They are less expensive then my audiologist. I made an appointment with Costco for Tuesday, we’ll see how that goes. :). I have to wait until Monday for information from BC/BS, they are closed for Thanksgiving. (And good for them giving their employees time off with their families. I for one think Black Thursday/Friday should be outlawed.)


#26

If you end up buying aids from Costco, be sure to pick up some toilet paper while you’re at it. Then stop by and tell this audiologist how much you saved on both.


#27

OMG BlueCrab!! You literally made me laugh out loud!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA


#28

You received the Best advice from all who posted. Here’s my 2 cents. Do not walk, RUN as fast as you can. In plain English, this Audi is a Thief. I’m a Costco fan, the Audi’s DO NOT get a commission on sales. That alone says a lot. You do have a 6 month Trial period.
One question. What is more important: Money or your Hearing?


#29

To answer your question, my hearing obviously. However, with that being said, I do not want to be ‘shamed’ or ‘scared’ into making an unwise purchase. I would gladly pay for the higher technology, better fitment, more professional support, but I don’t want to pay 4x or 5x the amount that other pay for the same equipment and levels of service.

I called Costco and was told that their highest priced HA’s cost $2600/pair. That’s a far cry from $8800 a pair.


#30

Oh please, please let me 2nd, 3rd, whatever number it’s up to, BlueCrab on this. My guess is that you wouldn’t do this in real life (any more than would I), but man-o-man, the very idea is empowering, right?

Chipell, I am also learning about my options in purchasing new HAs. This forum has been extremely helpful. I certainly don’t think that all audiologists are out there to scam the consumer; indeed I believe that this is just another example of good professionals and not-so good professionals. Maybe we all need to do our “due diligence” and ask good questions, research our options and expect good answers. Good luck on your venture!


#31

Perhaps we can start a new trend. Every member who buys aids from Costco should post a picture of their brand new aids on top of a case of toilet paper.


#32

LMAFO guess we all should!


#33

Or a roasted chicken.


#34

Rereading this thread, and I just picked up on this part. There’s a lot of smoke and mirrors to hearing aid pricing and insurance coverage. For my plan, the “allowable amount” varies depending on the provider. And it seems like the provider’s price can vary based on the allowed amount.
When I told my audi I was giving up on the Starkeys, he then recommended the Phonak Marvel. I asked him how this would change my pricing and he said no change. It’s a 1 for 1 exchange. Now I’m certain he’s not paying exactly the same amount for these two aids. I think he’s simply satisfied with the amount of money he got, regardless of which aid I choose in the end (staying at the same technology level of course).
So yeah, the insurance company probably isn’t going to tell you much.


#35

Odd. When I call my insurance provider they will tell me whatever I want to know. The amount of my coverage, how much time I have left in my three year period, a list of clinics that they work with that offer discounts, whatever.


#36

I haven’t called in yet, they aren’t open until tomorrow. But just from a consumer point of view, if I get 1500 per ear and use it all at a private audi, but then go to Costco and pay $2000 for a pair, isn’t that saving them $1000 and I’m getting an equivalent (I hope) set of HA’s without having to put out another $2800? I don’t know how it works, but it seems that would be logical.


#37

Make sure your insurance has Costco on their list that you can go to.


#38

Yes, that is logical, but it might not be how the insurance company works. Some companies “insurance” is really more like a discount program where the insurance company negotiates lower prices for the promise of more business.


#39

Got my Opns from Denmark for 2,800 euros, includes four years warranty with loss and damage included as well as aftercare. It is because you can get top models of hearing aids such as the ReSound LiNX 3D aids free via their health service and the government offers grants so the private sector needs to compete with this hence the prices are cheaper than the UK. If I got them in the UK, they would be £4,000 for a pair. As my wife comes from Denmark and I spend a lot of time there, it was a no brainer. Just can’t believe how much they cost outside of Denmark.


#40

Guess it depends on the insurance company/plan. Even the providers I’ve worked with don’t know the allowable amount until they file the claim. As a matter of fact, the guy I’m working with now just gave me a refund because insurance paid him more than he thought they would.