How long do hearing aids last?
The average life span for a hearing aid is 3-5 years. Technology changes so rapidly that after 5 years a computer is obsolete. Advances are being made in hearing technology, as well. Manufacturers will not repair a hearing aid that is over 5 years old.
Can I have my older hearing aid repaired?
Of course! We use an all-make repair lab that will evaluate each hearing instrument as it comes in and make a determination as to whether or not it can be repaired. If the lab says “no”, or if the cost is going to be more than originally discussed, then we will give you a call to discuss further options.
I got my hearing aid wet! What now?
Open the hearing aid. Take the battery out. Allow the hearing aid to dry for 24 hours. Try a new battery and see if it works. If it does, great! Bullet dodged! If not, give us a call and we’ll have it repaired.
Do hearing aids really work?
Yes, they do, but they’re a tool. And like any tool, you must have the right ones and you have to learn how to use them. Dr. Esterline will help you find the right tools and our Aural Rehab class will teach you how to use them.
I have tinnitus. Can hearing aids help me?
Hearing aids are used to help with hearing loss. A side effect of hearing aid use that is noted by more that half the people who have tinnitus and hearing loss is a lessening of the sensation of the ringing.
Insurance & Pricing
What’s the deal with insurance?
Taking full advantage of our insurance benefits is very important to all of us. Unfortunately insurance companies have a vast array of what constitutes a benefit. Hearing aids often fall into a grey area of coverage. Some carriers view hearing aids as a luxury and offer minimal assistance toward hearing aid purchase. Others offer free hearing aids to their clients. Another might simply offer a discount plan to their subscribers.
At Hearing Healthcare Center, we do not accept insurance. Wait! Don’t stop reading, yet! The REASON we will not accept insurance payments is because we believe there is a better way. We believe the insurance business is broken and has caused healthcare costs to skyrocket in this country.
Big insurance companies dictate what payments will be made to service providers. By doing this, they also tell many practices what they have to charge all their clients. If I agree to accept what an insurance company pays, then I have to charge more somewhere else to make ends meet. For example, one well known company has a plan that pays the service provider “up to 80% of the allowed amount”. The “allowed amount” is 50% of the billed amount. If the provider wants to cover all his own expenses, he needs to charge twice as much (plus 20%) as he should so he can take the loss. Insurance companies also require that everyone be charged the same — no preferential billing. I’m okay with not showing partiality, but that means everyone gets charged way too much!
So, what happens if a client is charged only what he should be charged? He pays only what he owes. Then, he can turn in the receipt to his own insurance company for a “rebate” of sorts. We can give you the codes you need to file with your carrier. We’ll even print the form for you. All you have to do is complete the information and send it in. Everyone still gets charged the same, and no one has to pick up the tab for anyone else. At least, that’s the way we think things ought to work.Thanks for reading to the end. I hope you found this information helpful. If you have any further questions, just give us a call.
What is un-bundling?
Hearing aids are super expensive! But, they are SO small. How does that work? Most audiologists and hearing aid dispensers price their hearing aids in a bundle. They bundle the product and the service together. However, a person might be able to buy a hearing aid on-line for a much lower price. Of course, there is no follow up service on such a device, but they really saved some money.
At Hearing Healthcare Center, we are going to provide you with the BEST service anywhere and very competitive prices. Since we separate the cost of the product from the service, you will pay for each piece of the pie you need. When prices are bundled, all the service you could possibly need is charged at the time you get the hearing aid.
But, what if you don’t need all that service? What if you have worn hearing aids for a while and have already learned how to adjust to them? What if you only need adjustments during the trial period and your regular six month checks? Well, then you have paid for some services you will never use. Unless, of course, you are getting your service from Hearing Healthcare Center. At your fitting appointment your invoice will list the hearing aids, a fitting fee, batteries, the Dri-Aid kit, a warranty, and regular six month checks. That’s it! Any further service you may need will be charged at the time you take advantage of it.
A lot of places will give away “free” hearing tests, or “free” cleanings. In bundled pricing, there are no real freebies. In unbundled pricing, there are also no freebies. You just know it upfront.For example, let’s say you spend $4,500 on a pair of bundle priced hearing aids. That same pair unbundled would run you about $3,400. That leaves us with somewhere between 16 and 18 visits in the next two years. Not everyone is going to use all that service. So, why should everyone be charged?This type of transparent pricing is a little bit different. But, it is our hope that you will see different as better when it comes to getting the best service for your hearing healthcare needs.
Other Products & Services
What are swim molds and who needs them?
Swim molds are custom made and fit ear plugs that keep the ear canals dry while swimming or bathing. This is very important for children and adults who have had PE tubes in their ear drums as a treatment for recurrent middle ear infections. They could also be used by swimmers who have a lot of problems with external otitis (swimmer’s ear).
What is Aural Rehabilitation?
Aural Rehabilitation is learning to hear again with the help of hearing aids. Unfortunately, putting on a pair of hearing aids is not as easy as putting on a pair of slippers. When we get back into the world of hearing, the soundscape around us can be fairly daunting. We have put together a four week series of small group classes to help people get the hearing aids out of the drawer and back in their ears. Friends or family members with normal hearing are invited to attend each of the meetings along with the hearing impaired individual.
Who needs hearing protection?
OSHA states that anyone in a sustained noisy environment of over 85 dB needs to use some sort of hearing protection (muffs or plugs). This is usually measured in a factory. Chainsaws, lawn mowers, power tools, and even vacuum cleaners can get pretty loud. Motor cycles, guns, and rock concerts are on that list as well. A good rule of thumb: If you have to raise your voice to be heard over the noise, it’s probably too loud.
What happens during a hearing test?
Your audiologist will ask you about the difficulties you are having with your hearing, and if there is any hearing loss in your family. She will look in your ears to make sure there is no blockage causing the hearing difficulties. If the ears are clean, she will proceed with the tone test looking for the very softest sounds you can hear. She will then move on to some speech testing that will include: softest speech responses, most comfortable listening levels, speech discrimination, and loudness tolerance levels (if you have a hearing loss). She will go over the results and discuss your options with you. That’s it! Should take about an hour.