All it takes is one look in the daily newspaper to realize that there are an infinite number of companies trying to get you to buy hearing aids from them. How are you supposed to make a decision on where to go for a hearing aid when there are so many gimmicks, offers, and promises? Here’s a guide to cut through all of that noise and help you decide which provider is right for you.
There are three main factors that you need to consider when comparing hearing care professionals. These three factors are quality, service and price. When you comparison shop for hearing aids, no one – and I mean no one – will be able to offer you the best quality, with the best service, at the best price. Let’s take a look at what these three factors really mean and what you can do to help you decide on where to go.
- Quality: Top notch hearing aids are not cheap. The research and development along with the production of these medical devices cost hearing aid manufacturers millions of dollars. These devices can come in many different quality levels. Most providers will have three to five levels of hearing aids, ranging from Basic to Ultra Premium. The higher the technology level, the better the device performs – and the more it costs. Patients often ask, “Is there really a difference?” The answer is absolutely. The difference between the Basic and Ultra Premium level is night and day.
- Service: Hearing aids only work as well as your hearing care professional programs them to work. Programming a hearing aid is an art and a science, and to do it properly, a lot of expensive diagnostic equipment is needed. It also takes time. You need to ensure that the place you purchase your hearing aids from will be there if your hearing aids stop working. Many times patients who buy from high-volume retailers don’t have success with their hearing aids because there is no one to properly program the devices and no one to help them when something goes wrong. However, service doesn’t only pertain to the work they do on your hearing aids. It means everything from educating you on your options, scheduling you for regular follow-ups, and providing a great experience every time you come to the office.
- Lowest price: There are many low-cost options on the market today. Big box, online, and discount retailers are everywhere. Some insurance plans also provide their customers with hearing aid coverage which can amount to low out-of-pocket costs. When you select the lowest-price option, you almost always give up quality and service. In order for these companies to turn a profit, they need to sell a lot hearing aids. It is impossible for these hearing care providers to give you the best device and the best service. It often comes back to the old saying of “you get what you pay for.” Sometimes you can end up with a satisfactory experience, but often you end up with a sub-par hearing aid experience.