How Much Do Hearing Aids Cost?
The cost of hearing aids varies, but you can expect to pay anywhere from $100 to more than $5,000 per pair. This wide range in cost is typically due to the type of specific technology, features, and support you will get with your hearing aids purchase.
Prescription Hearing Aids
While prescription hearing aids require an assessment from your audiologist to purchase and use, you’ll also get professional guidance and ongoing support. All of these factors, combined with the general overhead amount your audiologist has to cover to run their business, can make purchasing hearing aids expensive.
Some hearing aid companies sell their hearing aids directly to consumers online at prices similar to those offered by audiologists, and they also require a professional hearing test. Online retailers typically provide their own audiology support for customers.
Over-the-Counter (OTC) Hearing Aids
If you’re willing to forego some of the support and customization available with prescription hearing aids, OTC hearing aids are a more affordable alternative. In a 2022 ruling, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the over-the-counter sale of medical-grade hearing aids for people with perceived mild to moderate hearing loss. This ruling removed the required hearing test and audiologist prescription, making hearing aids more widely available than before.
Buying Hearing Aids With a Credit Card
If you use credit cards and have spending limits that can cover the cost of hearing aids, using your personal credit cards is an option for payment. However, there are credit cards available specifically for health-related purchases that may offer better interest rates and repayment terms on the purchase of hearing aids. These cards partner with health care providers and health device retailers to offer a financing option to their patients and customers. This type of credit card cannot be used outside of approved health and wellness partners and includes the Care Credit card and the Wells Fargo Health Advantage Card. Qualification for both cards is dependent on your credit score.
The Care Credit card offers different promotional terms depending on your purchase. You may be eligible for a promotional 0% annual percentage rate (APR) if you purchase hearing aids for a minimum of $200 if paid in full during the promotional period. If you purchase hearing aids that cost at least $1,000, you may be eligible for reduced APR and fixed monthly payments over 24–60 months. Specific promotional eligibility varies depending on the provider you purchase your hearing aids from, so any advertised APRs or payment terms are just examples.
According to Rachel Magann Faivre, Au.D., owner of Oklahoma City-based ASH Audiology, “Care Credit typically approves more people with lower credit scores, however, their interest rates are higher too. Wells Fargo keeps interest rates lower in comparison but doesn’t approve lower credit scores.”
Wells Fargo Health Advantage Card
Like the Care Credit card, the Wells Fargo Health Advantage Card can only be used on purchases and services from approved providers. The Wells Fargo card is more like a traditional credit card, with a fixed 12.99% APR on all purchases and no fixed monthly payment terms.
Is Financing Available When I Buy Hearing Aids Online?
Regardless of whether you purchase OTC hearing aids or prescription hearing aids, the hearing aid company or another retailer may offer financing through a third-party financing company.
Bread Pay, an option available with purchases from companies like Eargo and Jabra Enhance, offers loans from Bread Financial (formerly Comenity Capital Bank), with 12- or 24-month repayment terms and as little as 0% APR depending on your credit score and approval.
If you purchase hearing aids from Walmart, you may qualify for financing through Affirm. Affirm has a few lending partners that offer loans for hearing aid purchases with as low as 0% APR and repayment terms anywhere between three to 48 months, depending on the total cost of your purchase. Affirm also partners with hearing aid companies like MDHearing to offer financing directly through the hearing aid’s website.
Allegro Credit is available through 3,200 merchants, including hearing aid brands like Audicus, and offers a range of repayment terms and APRs. Plus, Allegro is available to buyers with lower credit scores.
Do Audiologists Offer Financing on Hearing Aids?
Some audiology offices do not offer financing and will require payment for hearing aids in full. Others may be partnered with third parties, like Bread Pay and Allegro, or be part of the Care Credit or Wells Fargo Health Advantage Card networks.
Some audiology practices may even offer their own financing and allow patients to make monthly payments on their treatments and purchases without the involvement of third-party financing. It’s best to contact your audiologist office to find out if they offer some form of financing for hearing aids.
Does Insurance Cover Hearing Aids?
Generally speaking, most insurance plans do not cover hearing aids. Some private insurance companies may offer plan options with hearing aid coverage, including many Medicare Advantage plans, though original Medicare offers no coverage for hearing aids or hearing-related services. The only states currently requiring insurance companies to offer hearing aid coverage for adults are Arkansas, Connecticut, Illinois, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. If you’re unsure of whether your insurance plan covers hearing aids, contact them directly before attempting to purchase hearing aids with insurance coverage.
Other Ways to Pay for Hearing Aids
If health care credit cards, third-party financing companies, or insurance coverage aren’t options for financing your hearing aids, you may still be able to cover the cost without paying in full out of pocket.
If you are a veteran eligible for Veteran Affairs (VA) health benefits, your hearing aids may be covered in full if a VA-approved audiologist determines them to be medically necessary.
You may be able to secure a personal loan either from a financial institution or from friends or family to help you purchase your hearing aids. Before going this route, be aware that personal loans often hold higher APRs than other financing options, making your hearing aids cost more in the long run. Additionally, seeking and accepting a loan from friends or family is a personal decision and one that should not be taken lightly. If you choose to borrow money from friends or family, be sure that all parties understand the terms of the loan and are comfortable with any and all arrangements made.
“Almost all states have various funding programs for hearing aids, usually for low income individuals,” noted Dr. Magann Faivre. “Because this varies, the best way to find out what’s available in your state is to contact local audiologists.”
Hearing aids are a significant investment but have become more affordable than ever with the FDA approval of OTC hearing aid sales. If paying in full for your hearing aids isn’t possible or ideal, there are likely financing options available to fit your needs and budget. Be sure to check on insurance coverage, FSA or HSA funds, or benefits available through organizations, like the VA, in order to get the best price and the right hearing aids for you.