WTF Hearing aids are worth more than their weight in than gold!

warpedpink

Member
I went to Kaiser last week to check into the possiblity of maybe getting hearing aids. The doctor said I was a good canidate then proceeded to, and this is the best part, nonchalantly tell me I'd have to shell out $2,400 for 2 hearing aids at $1,200 apiece.

What the hell?! Have hearing aids always been this expensive? How the effin fuck can so many Deaf people and seniors afford it? Let me in on the secret!
 

Frisky Feline

Well-Known Member
i dont get it why the cell phone costs so cheaper than HA. cellphone has many features etc while HA has less features. jeez
 

Barbaro

Well-Known Member
Yeah, they cost an arm and a leg. I'm wearing Starkey digital hearing aids. They are worth over $2,000 just on sale. Bleh. Well, at least, you can go for analog hearings. They're affordable. I miss Siemens analog hearing aids.
 

green427

Active Member
My opinion? They are medical devices, and that is a good enough reason to jack up the prices.

Never mind that they are most likely made in China and only cost the company a few dollars.

p.s. $1200 apiece is actually a good price compared to what most are paying.
 

whatdidyousay!

Well-Known Member
I went to Kaiser last week to check into the possiblity of maybe getting hearing aids. The doctor said I was a good canidate then proceeded to, and this is the best part, nonchalantly tell me I'd have to shell out $2,400 for 2 hearing aids at $1,200 apiece.

What the hell?! Have hearing aids always been this expensive? How the effin fuck can so many Deaf people and seniors afford it? Let me in on the secret!
Yes , unfortunately they do cost a lot of $$$! And the ear molds cost money two and then you need the batteries, this all add up! For that much money your HA could have more features on it like a radio or something!
 

NaidaUP

Well-Known Member
Lots of people buy cell phones / mobiles so that bring the cost down.

Less people buy h aids so the prices are kept high.
 

Steinhauer

Well-Known Member
Lots of people buy cell phones / mobiles so that bring the cost down.

Less people buy h aids so the prices are kept high.
Maybe less people can afford them and that is why less people buy them.

Yes, HA's have always been expensive. You might try a freecycle in your area.
 

green427

Active Member
BTW....I believe Starkey's analog hearing aids are made in Taiwan, and there is a clone out there by the name of LiSound. I ordered one on fleaBay, paid $200, and crossed my fingers.

Well, when we got it, I was surprised at how well built it was, and how identical it was to the Starkey, adjusted it to match the settings on my wife's old HA, put a battery in it, and voila, it was PERFECT. She has worn it for two years now, still works perfect.

This is the high-powered analog HA that is in the same class as the older Oticon E28P's. The same fleaBay seller sells many other HA's, including Siemens digital aids, much, much cheaper than your local audi would.

The downside? You still have to program the digital aid. Many of the vendors WILL program it for you if you email a copy of your hearing loss chart. These vendors usually have a very high rating, and they are not stupid, and will work with you. But, when you bring your digital aid in, the local audi may have an attitude with you for buying the aid somewhere else.
 

naisho

Forum Disorders M.D.,Ph.D
Supply vs demand, imho. There isn't a huge demand for HA's. Thus it's easy to keep the price steady and gouge insurance for them.
Electronics and tech in mainstream have a huge demand, such as computers. Thus, there are more manufacturers and they are generally outsourced for cheaper labor to give cheaper costs. The stuff that aren't mainstream, but very cool to have cost plenty, there are a lot of tech examples.

I was always under the impression HA's were made at the local center you go though, at least that's how it worked for mine.
But I've always been to independent/custom HA outfitters (3 to date), the only major one being Sonus.
 

GrayEagle

New Member
8 years ago we paid $5000 for my two digital. And they were *not* top of the line, but the best match for my hearing loss. Not covered by health insurance, of course! Two years ago my hearing had dropped sufficiently that no adjustments to my aids were possible. I have managed to make do for another 2 years. :P My latest hearing test showed additional loss. I have noticed I hear less and have more issues than I had before. My aids are functioning fine (just had them checked & serviced). Still don't have another $5000+ for replacements. :( My audiologist said she expected a new technology that costs less, to come out in the Fall. They are still quality testing them. I may be able to afford those. But even with the no interest medical loans out there, the monthly payments would be $500 to pay off the loan in 12 months (required). So, now that I am no longer working, we just don't have the financial resources to get new digitals for me. DH is close to retirement and we see the handwriting on the wall as regards regular medical care, and know that new hearing aids are not going to be feasible then, much less now. Not to mention I pay over $600 a year for full replacement insurance...

So, I am learning ASL and taking lip reading classes... I remember saying 8 years ago to the audiologist that these aids would likely be my last, given their cost, and facing retirement, and me no longer working. She didn't believe me. Now, with the recession, she does. And that is why she is pursuing this new technology that is supposed to cost much less. She has a lot of clients, all ages, who can't afford the cost of new aids any more.
 

naisho

Forum Disorders M.D.,Ph.D
I've felt that it's probably easier to make some kind of receiver-transmitter hearing system that does not have all components packed into a HA device, but more like a wireless headset where the receiver is some kind of box microphone you can place. Sort of like a bluetooth system, you have the headset, and there is a receiver. The thing is you can place it where you want. Sort of reminds me of a FM but without the wires.

I don't have the mech engineering background to construct such device, but I know it's well within doable.

Pros:
1) Bigger device components = less overall production costs
2) You can filter what you want heard instead of hearing everything in ambiance, by placing the receiver next to the source
3) Possibly less needs for upgrades for more volume - it's easier to tune up amplification with larger scale hifi devices for example.
4) Can place the receiver on A/C power option or battery option

Cons:
1) Needs new battery technology, but since the processing is not done in the headset itself, it can last longer
2) Hassle to bring receiver around and put it somewhere
3) Possibly not much money to be made, from an economic perspective
 

Bottesini

Old Deaf Ranter
Premium Member
I've felt that it's probably easier to make some kind of receiver-transmitter hearing system that does not have all components packed into a HA device, but more like a wireless headset where the receiver is some kind of box microphone you can place. Sort of like a bluetooth system, you have the headset, and there is a receiver. The thing is you can place it where you want. Sort of reminds me of a FM but without the wires.

I don't have the mech engineering background to construct such device, but I know it's well within doable.

Pros:
1) Bigger device components = less overall production costs
2) You can filter what you want heard instead of hearing everything in ambiance, by placing the receiver next to the source
3) Possibly less needs for upgrades for more volume - it's easier to tune up amplification with larger scale hifi devices for example.
4) Can place the receiver on A/C power option or battery option

Cons:
1) Needs new battery technology, but since the processing is not done in the headset itself, it can last longer
2) Hassle to bring receiver around and put it somewhere
3) Possibly not much money to be made, from an economic perspective
That seems like a step backward, to the old body worn aids.
 

naisho

Forum Disorders M.D.,Ph.D
That seems like a step backward, to the old body worn aids.
Yes, I forgot to mention this would not be a full time device. It is a real hassle to bring it around all the time. This would act more like an supportive device or if it could be incorporated into existing HA technology. It would only be used in certain situations, like if you are sitting at a table in a restaurant or in a business meeting, or you put the receiver up on the podium where the president is speaking. It's when you have a source you want to hear.

The difference between those FM/body aids is there are no wires involved, and that the receiver should be able to theoretically pick up from multiple sources - you can make a bluetooth device connect to more than one source.

The main goal to accomplish such thing is to use existing technology to reduce costs of production in order to get better gains. The only hindrance I can see is lugging it around (which is why I mentioned it should probably be a supporting tech).
 
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