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Prices of Hearing Aids: What Else Can You Buy?

prices-of-hearing-aids-audicus

The prices of hearing aids are high; we all know that. The price tag by itself is already shocking enough. But putting it next to the cost of other goods can provide a fresh perspective… and ultimately show how overpriced these devices are compared to the cost to make them.

The average pair of hearing aids in the US costs approximately $4000 (2 x $2000, or one for each ear) – with some pairs going for up to $8000. Audicus Hearing Aids compiled a basket of goods that can be purchased on eBay for approximately the same amount. We tried to be as broad as possible, picking items in categories as varied as consumer electronics, agriculture, jewelry, cars, office equipment, motorcycles, furniture and collectibles. This colorful set of data is shown below and sheds some light on how grotesquely hearing aids are priced.

Prices of Hearing Aids: A Comparison

prices-of-hearing-aids-audicus

The average price of hearing aids is in the same league as a vintage 1968 Ford Mustang, a full-blown outdoor home-cinema set, or a 14 carat emerald and diamond bracelet!

But what makes this comparison even more sobering is if we consider the cost of manufacturing a pair of hearing aids (see infographic). The $300 implies a markup of up to 13 times! There are very few “consumer-focused” industries to our knowledge that come close to a similar markup.

Unfortunately only few consumers know this. We conducted a survey with about 200 hearing aid users, which showed that more than 96% had little or no idea why the prices of hearing aids are so high.

We really believe that price transparency should be at the core of patients’ interests and hope to do our part in raising awareness in subsequent posts and make hearing aids more affordable. By a lot. And with the savings you might even be able hop on that Harley Davidson, or sling that 1932 Yankees Baseball signed by Babe Ruth!

Read more about the prices of hearing aids vs. other consumer electronics.

Sources: Audicus Hearing Aids, eBay

by Patrick Freuler

5 responses to “Prices of Hearing Aids: What Else Can You Buy?

  1. your price comparison is interesting, however hearing aids dont cost the dispensary the production amount, they have a mark up too. Most hearing aids I sell cost me over 1K, so if you can find a source for hearing aids that patients will like for $300, then you should sell those aids to clinics!
    The only $300 hearing aids I have are for Medicaid patients, they are extremely basic at that level.
    If you buy a $4000 hearing aid, you can buy 40K pencils, 1600 toothbrushes, 800 Wax guards (@$5 each) with the same amount. However you don’t pay for stuff with pencils, toothbrushes or wax guards… we don’t pay our rent with that either.
    The reality is that patients pay for the device AND the service that goes with it.

    Think in this way, my last bill from my mechanic was 850 dollars. Only a small fraction of that was for parts… should I complain because I want him to work for free? Of course not, I need his expertise… just like our patients need ours.

  2. I find your price comparison interesting. When you buy a cheeseburger, you aren’t only paying for the supplies used in the burger, you are contributing towards the entire business and those who made your cheeseburger– however, a cheeseburger wont help you live a happier life with those you love.
    When you purchase hearing aids you are paying for so much more than the aids: -The cost to manufacture. -The inflated price of them sold to dispensaries. -Licensing costs. -Training and continued education costs of the specialist. -Advertisement costs for the effort to convince people who don’t want to help themselves to help themselves and come in. -Equipment for repairs, for tuning, testing and calibrating. -(If you purchase with a GOOD company) you are contributing to the aftercare that you will receive for ever.
    Most importantly, the price that you pay for a pair of hearing aids is what makes the industry possible, and brings you a life of enjoyment again. A life that you can interact more easily and more happily, on a minute-to-minute basis. Your relationships improve. Your stress eases. You love, laugh and live with those around you in a completely different way. This isn’t something you get from a baseball, or a stereo system (that you can’t even hear without hearing aids anyway!) or a printer. What a joke! There is truly no comparison to the VALUE that hearing aids can bring to you.

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! We certainly agree that the benefit of hearing aids cannot be quantified. We also know that less than 20% of Americans with hearing loss actually get hearing aids and that the main deterrent is cost as hearing aids are rarely covered by insurance. Many do not realize the cost of hearing in the US until they have to find the funds themselves and we wanted to find an engaging way to illuminate this issue. Your feedback is truly appreciated. Thank you for sharing your perspective.

      Best,

      The Audicus Team

  3. medicare advantage plans pays very little for hearing aids, which puts the co-pay beyond the average income. So they use amplifiers – not a good solution but are affordable. Everyone, with moderate hearing loss should boycott these high priced hearing aids. I know I am.

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