Updated November 4, 2016 – The Price You Pay For Hearing Aids — Is It Justified?
In a recent study, hearing aid manufacturers were asked to justify the prices that they typically charge for their products. As you can imagine, this created a great deal of consternation within the industry given the fact that many companies oftentimes charge prices that many consumer advocates believe are unnecessarily high. However, some interesting data was derived from this particular study.
For example, where as many products are typically made in Third World sweatshops, hearing aids are handcrafted in first world countries by skilled technicians. When you really stop and think about it, most people would feel much better knowing that a product they are inserting into the ear is not potentially laced with toxic chemicals or foreign materials that can oftentimes be found in crowded sweatshop conditions. Given the fact that a great deal of time and effort is invested to create these hearing aids, the price gets passed on to customers. Truthfully, most customers are very happy with the product they are receiving, so the study’s data indicates that hearing aid manufacturers are doing the right thing in so far as how they are choosing to manufacture their products.
Something else that stood out in this particular study was the most Canadian hearing aid manufacturers need to spend some extra money ensuring that the products they produce live up to very strict guidelines developed by Health Canada. Given the fact that the hearing aid industry is very competitive, many other companies — including many in the United States and around the world — have had to meet these higher standards in an effort to remain competitive.
One aspect of why hearing aids cost so much money stems largely from the fact that there are a variety of different things that need to be done to ensure that a particular hearing aid will fit within a customer’s ear. Needless to say, the process of getting a hearing aid into somebody’s ear so that it fits both comfortably while at the same time resting in a way that allows the hearing aid to do its job can be both time consuming and require a great deal of skill on the part of the technician who’s doing the fitting. This cost gets passed along to customers as well.
Here’s the bottom line: hearing aids cost a lot of money because they do something that is straight out of biblical times — they enabled people who otherwise could not hear to hear. That being said, many hearing aid manufacturers have taken steps to develop a broad product line that involves different price points. This is great news given the fact that it enables customers to make an intelligent decision as to which particular device makes the most sense for them to use.
One final thing to keep in mind is that more and more hearing aid manufacturers are beginning to offer lifetime support for the hearing aids that they sell you. Therefore, you can actually purchase a hearing aid without ever having to worry about spending money on getting it fixed or updated in the future. This naturally gets priced into how much you pay.