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Why are Traditional Hearing Aids so Expensive?

You've known for a long time that you've been having trouble hearing what other people say to you. You've told yourself the inability to communicate in noisy places isn't really interfering with the quality of your life.

Then one day a close friend or family member says, “You know what? I think you need to have your hearing checked”.

Eventually these concerned comments drive you to an audiologist or ear, nose and throat specialist who tests your hearing and tells you what others have been telling you. You are, in fact, suffering from hearing loss and need hearing aids.

For most people that piece of information alone is a shock.

But an even bigger shock comes when people find out that Medicare and most insurance companies do NOT cover the cost associated with hearing aids.

And even worse.....

The average cost of two high quality hearing aids is somewhere in the neighborhood of $3,600.00. If you want ones with all the bells and whistles you’ll easily spend $7,000.00

Twenty years ago, before the age of high technology a good pair of hearing aids would cost less than $1,000.00.  But today’s instruments are packed with new state of the art sophisticated technology.  They can be made so small that they fit inside the ear canal and are virtually invisible to those around you. Other types fit behind the ear with a transparent tube that connects the device and fits in the ear canal.

Over the last decade, companies have spent billions of dollars on research and development to make and market better instruments for the hard of hearing. They have tiny microphones that send sound to a computer chip in the hearing aid which modifies the high and low frequencies coming in improve what you hear.

These new digital instruments can be computer programmed to block out wind and background noises and there are accessories you can buy like Bluetooth devices that will sync up with your smart phone, tablet, MP3 player, tv, and computer which will bring the sound into your hearing aids.

Sure beats Closed Captioning.

But there’s a price for all of this if you follow the traditional business model.

That means going to a hearing aid retailer where you select the hearing aids you think will work best for you. What nobody tells you is what you are also buying that’s not in any fine print.

AARP recently studied this business model and found the following built in costs using the price of $3,600.00 for a pair of digital hearing aids. Here’s what they found out:

COSTS FOR THE MANUFACTURER:

  • Materials-$360.00
  • Research-$1,080 

OTHER RELATED RETAILER COSTS:

  • Rent and overhead- $450.00
  • Testing/diagnostic equipment- $288.00
  • Licensing for audiologists(who do the fittings and adjustments)-$108.00
  • Salaries-$540.00
  • Marketing- $270.00
  • Continuing education and training for employees-$180.00
  • Potential profit for retailer (pre-tax)- $324.00
  • TOTAL APPROXIMATE PRODUCT COST FOR RETAILER:$1,440

That means the average markup for a pair of $3,600.00 hearing aids is $2,160.

One of the biggest selling points for the more expensive hearing aids is the number of channels and bands they have. The sales pitch is the more of these you have, the better you will hear.

But almost all the research on this shows that after 4 or 5 channels the wearer doesn’t perceive that he or she is hearing any better and critics of the old business model say it’s just hype to make more money.

Almost all the good hearing aids today include great speech recognition, effective noise cancellation and up to five channels.

What drives the cost up into the $3,600.00 neighborhood is the multi-layered system where everyone involved needs to make a profit.

Ovation Hearing is fixing this broken business model by cutting out all the middle men without sacrificing quality.  By selling the same high quality hearing aids directly to you, Ovation Hearing is able to offer them at a fraction of the cost of going the traditional route.

You can choose from a variety of models which all provide excellent speech recognition, noise reduction and all the channels you need to have an enjoyable hearing experience.

The U.S. is in an untreated hearing loss epidemic which the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication says is growing every year. About one third of all Americans between the ages of 65 and 74 and nearly half of people over 75 have hearing loss.

The federal government says 10,000 Americans turn 65 everyday and the over 65 population is projected to double by 2030 when there will be 72.1 million Baby Boomers.

Meanwhile the broken old business model continues to drive up the cost of hearing aids leaving 20% of those who need treatment behind.

Never in the history of the U. S. have older people made up the largest demographic group of Americans.  Millions will develop hearing loss as they age and if they want to retain their quality of life they are going to need help.

Ovation Hearing is there with a better way.

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