Starkey Prices to the Government for HA's

I ran across the following site that has Starkeys prices to the government. I don’t have 15 posts so you will have to cut and paste this address.

promo.starkey.com/pdfs/starkey_roes_codes.pdf

Look at the 2nd page with prices.

I am amazed at how low the prices are for the Wi’s and the 11’s. Depending on style $340-$400 per Aid. Repair and return for $92.

I sure wish I could get a piece of that action. Again it looks like a 300% to 400% percent retail markup on most aids.

This just confirms my suspicions that the prices are too high for retail customers.

What should be a reasonable price for a pair of Wi’s or 11s?

I didn’t bother following your link… but how many hearing aids do you figure the VA buy’s in a day? hell join the military and get them free! if you think you are being over charged you have options.

I really don’t care how many the VA buys in a day…just how much I have to pay for them any given day. By the way DA they are no longer taking 70 year olds in the military. Also, I did serve my time…did you? I get tired of paying for everyone else’s freebies through my taxes and then a jacked up price when I go to buy something.

I assuming that I must have hit a tender spot in your business. Sorry you are so touchy this evening.:smiley:

I did serve my time…did you?

certainly did… that’s why I’m picking a free pair of Siemens Caret 701 HPs this week. I also got another fellow with an attitude about price to get off his rear and go to the trouble of signing up with the VA since he was a Vet. Maybe you should research that.

No tender spot here… I’m retired. Keep paying them taxes I’ll get another new pair in 4 years. (did I mention free glasses and $8 Rx’s and no cost knee replacement?)

Mick,
Unfortunately, If the Govt. is getting HA for $340-$400, it is probably one of the major reasons the rest of us are getting hosed to the tune of $4,000 and up. I think the Govt. should get a break but come on, why not just give them the HA and jack are price up another $500. Somebody’s got to pay for the HA and we might as well pay the entire cost for you guys!

Mick,

Well said sir.

Service connected hearing loss
1/94th MLRS C Battery
Combat Medic
Rangers all the way!

The last number I got for the VA was from 2003, and back then they were buying 290,000 hearing aids a year. I don’t know what the number is now, but it’s a lot more than your local hearing aid clinic.

The price you are seeing is a rock bottom price, with minimum warranties, every option an extra. And that’s still only the cost price. The VA will then spend plenty of money on each patient doing the testing, dispensing, fitting, adjustments etc.

What you are seeing is the power of a single payer health care system. When the government buys anything in those kinds of numbers, it can lead to some pretty awesome deals for the consumer. But when medicine is provided by for profit organizations, paid for via for profit insurance companies and the general public, the prices are inevitably higher.

Ultimately you can talk about what a ‘reasonable’ price for hearing aids is all day long. But they are being sold for a price that people are willing to pay, and no one is out there getting rich. Hearing professionals are making on average less than $60K a year (you can look it up on Salary.com). The hearing aid companies are making profits in line with any normal company (we had this discussion already on here, and looked at the actual SEC filings of the biggest player in the hearing aid industry). So if the hearing aid companies are not getting rich, and the dispensers are not getting rich, where is all this excess profit you are talking about?

It really doesn’t matter if the VA buy hearing aids for $1 each, it has no relevance to the cost of private hearing aids in the American market.

But, it is relevant. Your local audiologist is not going to get the extreme volume discount that the VA will get. Then, your local audiologist will bundle their services into the price you pay.

To Rough, Mick, MK, and all the other vets on here - Thank you for your service!

I also think HA prices are too high. You can buy a state of the art computer for 500 dollars but a decent HA costs at least 1500 dollars. It also bothers me that Medicare will pay for treatment to fat people who eat too many MacDonalds burgers but nothing for HA’s.

First Mick, you are part of the problem with the entire “Freebie” government system…I hate to tell you that those free items are not free…I paid for them.

I can pay for my own HA’s, and even if I qualify for VA I would prefer to leave the monies available to VA for those Vets that truly need it. esp Wounded Warriors.

I believe that the VA is a great organization and does much for those who served. I do have problems with those that abuse the system and those that spent 20-30 years stateside and the greatest danger they were exposed too was a paper cut.

If Starkey is selling HA to the government at a loss then pity them for poor management. Reminds me of the guy that was selling things at a loss but was going to make up for it in volume.

Unless things change in HA pricing, I can see the time in the near future where more will be produced off shore and the systems will be simple enough that people will be able to do their own fitting. Some of that is already happening.

Sorry if I stepped on your toes…but I will say that if you are getting new aids every four years and new glasses just because they are “free” and a change is not required to the old ones ,then you have become a parasite on society:rolleyes:.

Have you ever heard of a government contract where this happened? no, me neither.

I did a traineeship at the VA, granted it was over 10 years ago, but I do know that the VA has VERY special pricing negotiated through the HA manufacturers. There is no way a private practice Audi or even large-scale franchise could get even close to the prices the VA gets.

I can’t speak to weather the manu’s get their profit by increasing costs in the private sector to compensate for what they aren’t getting (It’s not a loss but it’s not much I’d bed) from the VA sales…but even if you’re profit margin on a hearing aid is only $25 if you sell 300,000 of them…well that adds up. So Starkey could be selling their products at barely above their cost of production and still make money simply because of the ENORMOUS volume of HA’s sold every year.

Well said Rough2000 about vets needs. The VA should consider COMBAT vets not office jockeys or guys just putting in time to collect a pension on the taxpayers. My brother -in-law spent 2 years active service then 20 years reserve, which required 1 weekend a month of doing nothing, and he gets tri-care health insurance and a very nice pension. The closest he ever came to combat was fighting for a place in the chow line. I am a U.S. Navy with no combat and I will pay my own way like you. Many wounded vets need more help and they are not getting it because of free loaders.

you guys are so silly… btw, LZ English '69 & 70. anyway, if someone puts in 20 or 30 years and never leaves the states and make extremely less than they could in private sector more power to them for using the VA HealthCare System. BTW, very few folks in the service get to decide where they are sent and what their job happens to be. I had to have a huge nasty on my eblow drained, packed, several time and while talking with the tech he said he like working in the hosp it was much better then what he was doing a couple of weeks ago working on generators. I was employed every single day between the time I got home for RVN until I retired Apr 2010. I would be glad to put my tax returns and amounts paid next to yours anytime. If you can afford to pay and/or don’t want to use the VA which you are paying for more power to you. You guys need to get out and find a hobby and quit listening to talk radio.

Y’know what, as a wife of a disabled combat-support Army MP who didn’t see a day of combat I’m going to have to take issue with this whole idea that some veterans are entitled to benefits while others are not. My husband was injured while sandbagging in a category 5 hurricane while on deployment in Honduras. He injured his back severely but the Army continued to work him so that now his back is so messed up that there are times when he can barely move his back hurts so much. So, by your definition, because his injury was not during combat he’s somehow less entitled to services?? That’s crap. He volunteered his time, he signed up to serve his country with the intention of doing it the rest of his life and he couldn’t because of something beyond his control that the Army made worse. It will effect him the rest of his life. The effect of this injury and what happened subsequent to that has impacted him in ways that effect everything he does, every day. He can’t go camping with his kids because he can’t sleep in a tent or on a cot. He can’t run around with them because his back pain will be so bad the day after he’s unable to work for days at a time. He volunteered to serve his country in whatever way his country needed him to serve, peacetime or war, and that act entitles him and everyone else who steeped up to the task to the same benefits that men and women who served in a combat zone have. To say that one member of the service deserves something another does not is discrimination at it’s finest.

IF YOU SERVED YOUR COUNTRY THEN YOU ARE ENTITLED TO ALL THE BENEFITS THE VA HAS TO OFFER. Weather you decide to use the benefits YOU EARNED or not is your problem. And I don’t believe for a second that there are combat-wounded vets who had services denied. Yes, the system isn’t perfect but if you served, you can receive benefits.

I am not trying to dismiss or marginalize what veterans who served in a combat zone gave while serving to their country and I am grateful for the men and women that gave everything to protect my freedom and ensure my liberty, but those who are in combat could not do their job without all the men and women who are sitting in an office somewhere. Support personnel are just as important as the people on the front lines. Service is service and to say that somehow someone is better because they had the “luck” of getting stuck in an area that is more dangerous is a very slippery slope.

I’m sure this will anger many people but our country is already so divided. If someone stepped up and volunteered their time to serve this country in whatever capacity then they should be honored for their service. Maybe not with parades and ceremonies, but to say they are less deserving because they sat at a desk or ran the motor pool or provided security in an area that wasn’t dangerous? I just think that’s a horrible way to treat any of our veterans.

ZCT,
Thanks for your response. In the short time I have been on this forum, I have been impressed with your knowledge and helpfulness.

First, the options listed for the Aids seem to be few. So I am assuming that most of the options/features are already built in the aids are are controlled with software changes at the VA. If I am wrong, please correct me.

I agree that there are other expenses involved in fitting, adjusting, etc. This is the first time that I have gotten closer that the cost/ wholesale price. As I have an appointment this week I am only trying to do my homework. As you said on my thread “To good to be true”…prices are negotiable. I have no problem with people making a fair profit. I do have problems if I feel the prices are excessive. I tend to do the same when buying other products.

While I cannot argue with your numbers, I also know at a good accountant can do a lot of magic with numbers. All you have to do is watch our government with unemployment numbers.

While I realize it makes no difference what the government pays for HA’s. I do believe it puts me in a better position to negotiate price.

I believe you will see more of the Sam’s / Costco business models in the future. The more power buying they do the prices of aids will come down.
I believe in a competitive marketplace. If more people were to ask questions I believe our health care costs would come down. As long as people don’t “have any skin in the game”, and feel it is free or the insurance company will pay for it we will continue to experience high price in this industry and many will just do without getting HA’s due to the cost.

While I realize it makes no difference what the government pays for HA’s. I do believe it puts me in a better position to negotiate price.

if you think pointing out what the VA pays for hearing aids will help in your negotiations… this I hope raises a red flay with the AD and they think twice if they really need your business.

Heh, heh, heh…did I happen to touch another sensitive nerve:eek:. Don’t you just hate it when the preacher or talk radio say things directly to you.

All I can say Mick is “If the Shu fits, wear it”. Don’t be ashamed of what you’re doing…it is not unusual for some to have “no shame”.

are you sure you aren’t 14 instead of 70? one shouldn’t drink and post on forums.

Perhaps the VA’s purchasing of HA in bulk for the pricing is exactly what the private sector should do for all of the healthcare industry. Maybe all the hospitals and doctors and insurance co. can form one big co op and tell the drug and medical device suppliers how many of a particular item they will buy and what they are willing to pay and perhaps the private sector, who is getting screwed by the healthcare industry as it is currently run will get more of a fair shot in pricing than we are getting today. I believe Europe already does it.