Purchasing hearing aids is often a large investment both financially and in time and commitment. Understanding your options and the costs involved is important to ensure you choose the option that is right for you.
Many people don’t realise that one of the reasons that hearing aid prices vary so much is because some prices include a package of services, and other prices only include the hearing aids and first fitting appointment. In many cases, the cost you pay for your hearing aids also includes ongoing appointments, maintenance and parts. This set up is often called “bundled” pricing and is quite standard in the hearing aid industry. Those clients seen under the Hearing Services Program receive bundled services.
At Pittwater Hearing we want to give our self-funded clients as much choice over their hearing aid purchase as possible. We believe it is important for you to fully understand your options and what you are paying for so that you can choose the option that best suits you. For this reason we offer clients the choice of both bundled and un-bundled pricing. Depending on your experience with hearing aids, your budget and Private Health Insurance, one option might be better for you than the other.
What is “Bundled” Pricing for Hearing Aids?
Bundled pricing for hearing aids is where the hearing aids are purchased as part of a rehabilitation package, and includes ongoing appointments, services and parts (eg/ domes or ear moulds). The advantage of Bundled pricing is that you can come back as often as you need to have your hearing aids fine tuned, adjusted and repaired without any unexpected costs. You pay for this service up-front for certain period of time. Exactly what is included will vary between clinics so it is important to check and make sure you are comparing similar levels of support.
At Pittwater Hearing our bundled pricing includes:
- All appointments for hearing aid trials
- Unlimited appointments for 3 years (including hearing aid fitting, follow ups, hearing assessments, and hearing aid adjustments)
- Fine tuning and adjustments using telecare and smartphone (only available with some models of hearing aids, and mobile phones)
- 1 Drying Jar and all drying capsules
- All servicing and repairs for 3 years (including courier charges)
- All replacement parts and cleaning tools for 3 years (includes cleaning brushes, wax filters, domes, and ear moulds)
At Pittwater Hearing, we believe that the key to success with hearing aids is regular check ups. This means we can address any issues that arise. We want wearing hearing aids to be as problem-free as possible, and will spend the time to address any of your concerns. Our appointment times are longer than the average hearing clinic because we believe in spending the time to get things right. We know that your time is valuable, and you don’t want to have to come back more often than is necessary.
We also provide reminders when you are due for a checkup, and when your hearing aid warranty is coming to it’s end. This way, you can have your hearing aids serviced free of charge before the warranty expires. We are happy to provide loaner hearing aids while yours are away being serviced.
What is “Unbundled” Pricing for Hearing Aids?
Unbundled pricing is where you purchase the hearing aids without including the costs of ongoing appointments and maintenance. You then pay for these appointments and service individually as you need them. Unbundled pricing often (but not always) includes the cost of the initial fitting and follow up so make sure you check this.
Some of the additional costs you may be required to pay over time if you choose un-bundled pricing include:
- Additional hearing aid trial appointments after the first follow up
- Minor hearing aid adjustments (in clinic or via telecare videolink)
- Minor adjustments sent via an app on your phone (telecare)
- Reassessment of your hearing
- Drying jar and capsules
- Courier and reprogramming for repairs/servicing
- Domes and replacement ear moulds
- Additional reports for GP’s and others outside of standard appointment reports
Is Bundled or Unbundled Right for Me?
Whether unbundled or bundled pricing is right for you depends on your individual situation. Some points that are worth considering include:
- How frequently are you likely to need appointments? New hearing aid users or those with severe or fluctuating hearing loss are likely to need frequent appointments. In these cases, it is likely that bundled pricing will work out more cost effective in the long run. If you are a long time, experienced hearing aid user who doesn’t generally require frequent adjustments to your hearing aids, and your hearing levels are stable, then un-bundled pricing is probably a cost-effective option for you.
- Do you have private health insurance? Some private health insurance policies will provide funding towards appointments as well as hearing aids. If this is the case you might be better off purchasing the aids un-bundled and paying for appointments as you go.
- Would you prefer to avoid unexpected costs in the first 3 years of your hearing aids? Will paying for appointments as you go make you less inclined to come back if you have problems? If so, you may be better to choose bundled pricing and know that everything is covered for a set period.
If you’d like more information on bundled and un-bundled pricing you can see our decision making chart here. Alternatively, contact us to discuss the options and your personal situation with our friendly staff.