I’m in a unique position where I need to use up the balance of an insurance reimbursement account before the end of the year or the money will disappear. My Signia aids are about 5 years old so I figured I would use the money to replace them (insurance covers a fixed % of the cost and the reimbursement account would almost cover everything up to my out of pocket maximum). My previous audiologist retired/sold their practice to a big corporation who doesn’t appear to be covered by my insurance so I’ve been looking around for a new audiologist. I found one that is nearby that seems fairly competent but I was a bit blindsided when they started quoting prices. They gave me the price for the hearing aids ($3300 each but oh well…my out of pocket maximum will keep my costs down). The thing that shocked me was the non-refundable “professional service” fee of ~$800 that is charged above and beyond the cost of the devices. This includes:
- Fitting and dispensing
- Probe microphone verification (I think this is real ear)
- Visits for trial period
- Validation assessment
- Programming and adjustment
- Orientation and counseling (lol…I’ve been wearing hearing aids for 25+ years so not going to get much benefit from this)
The audiologist claimed that this fee could be charged to insurance but honestly I’m kind of skeptical…and I really don’t want to get stuck with an $800 charge. Is it common to unbundle the fitting costs from the device cost? I don’t recall this being done at my previous audiologists practice. Does this fee seem excessive? Any idea what code name this would billed to the insurance company as?
I know the cost of the hearing aids themselves is probably high too, but as long as it gets billed through my insurance my out of pocket costs would be minimal even though the insurance payout will be huge (sad state of our healthcare system…).