Hearing Aid leasing vs. Buying

Hearing Aid leasing vs. Buying

Dr. Clifford R. Olson

Dr. Olson is a Board Certified Audiologist and holds his doctoral degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Olson is a member of the Academy of Doctors of Audiology, a Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology, and holds his Certificate of Clinical Competency from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. He is also an adjunct lecturer for the Department of Speech & Hearing Science at his alma mater.
Dr. Clifford R. Olson

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There’s a new way to get hearing aids: leasing hearing aids. Nearly one out of every three new cars on the road is leased, and this is for two main reasons. For one, typically, you can get a car leased for less money per month than you could if you buy the car. And number two, it ensures that you always have the latest model with all the new bells and whistles. This model of leasing has now worked its way into the hearing aid world. Let me explain the typical process of getting hearing aids.

Buying Hearing Aids

First, you’ll go into an audiology clinic and get a hearing test, and based on your specific needs and hearing loss, they will recommend a certain type of technology. You will then pay anywhere from a couple thousand dollars all the way up to ten thousand dollars for this technology, depending on where you go. For that you typically get the hearing aids, the fitting, and all of your follow-up care. Now, you can pay for this all in one lump sum, you can finance it for a year at no interest, or pay for it over the course of several years. Usually it’s something like 12.99% interest, and after you’re done paying for it you own those hearing aids, and you have them until you decide to purchase another set.

This can be a problem for a few reasons. You either have to pay thousands of dollars up front to get the hearing aids, or you have to finance them over the course of one year at no interest but pay really high monthly payments, or you’re going to spread that payment out over several years and pay a lot of money and interest. You’re also stuck with those hearing aids until you decide to go through that a whole entire process all over again.

Leasing Hearing Aids

Now if you’re the type of person who wears hearing aids for many years and you do not care about the latest and greatest technology, then leasing is not a good option for you, but if you’re the type of person who always likes to have the latest, greatest, hearing aid technology, then leasing may be a better option.

Leasing typically works like this. You’ll still go into your audiology clinic, get a hearing test and get a recommendation for a certain level of technology, based on that hearing test and what your needs are.  However, instead of buying that technology, you’re going to end up making monthly payments to lease that technology.

A popular hearing aid manufacturer named ReSound has recently developed a leasing program with the help of Allegro credit (no, not Allegra – that is for allergies! I’m talking about Allegro with an O.) This monthly lease payment can range anywhere from $99 to $174 for two hearing aids. These options include the newest ReSound 3D technology, including the LiNX and Enzo 3D line of devices. There is also nothing due with signing of the lease and no additional hidden costs ever.

So, what’s included in this lease? Well, obviously, it includes the hearing aids, but it also includes the fitting of those hearing aids and all of your follow-up care, which includes any cleanings, maintenance, adjustments, and warranty. After two years you can actually upgrade your technology to the newest, latest greatest hearing aids for a small fee. Once you hit year three, you can upgrade your technology without a fee. You just continue to make your monthly payments. And once you reach year four you can either buy those devices for a small fee, or get the newest, latest, and greatest technology and sign up for another four-year lease.

Real Ear Measurement

Remember, just because you have the newest, greatest, hearing aids at all times doesn’t mean that those hearing aids are going to work right for you. You need to make sure that you have real ear measurement performed on them. If you don’t know what real ear measurement if, I highly recommend you watch my video because it is the single most important thing to determine if you’re going to have success with those hearing aids.

Finding a Participating Clinic

Another great part of this leasing program is that the cost is controlled by Allegro, which means that a clinic can’t hike up the prices on you. The price is what it is. No matter where you go, if the provider is participating in this program, your costs are controlled. What’s tough about leasing is that you actually have to find a clinic that is participating in this program and it’s fairly new, so here’s not a whole lot of clinics out there that are doing it right now. Like I said before, depending on the type of person that you are, leasing hearing aids may not make any sense, but if you’re the type of individual who always likes to have the latest technology, then leasing might be the best option for you.