Did you know that 1 in 8 people in the U.S. aged 12 years or older have hearing loss in both ears? That’s 13% (or 30 million) of the U.S. population. Note that around 48 million have hearing loss in at least one ear.
Moreover, 2% of U.S. adults aged 45 to 54 experience disabling hearing loss. The rate escalates as people grow older — 50% of those aged 75 or older suffer disabling hearing loss.
Usually, hearing aids are the solution. “Yet only 16 percent of those under 69 who could benefit from hearing aids use them — and fewer than 1 in 3 over 70,” says the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).
The underutilization often boils down to cost, as hearing aids tend to be expensive. Many who need them simply can’t afford them.
Before we get into the cost of hearing aids and affordable solutions, let’s explore the meaning of “hearing aid.”

What is a Hearing Aid?

A hearing aid is a small electronic device worn inside or behind the ear. (It can be customized to address various types of hearing loss.) The device amplifies certain sounds so that the person wearing it can listen and communicate more effectively in daily activities.
Generally, a hearing aid comes with a microphone, amplifier, and speaker. The microphone receives the sound waves and converts them into electrical signals. Then, the microphone sends the signals to the amplifier, which raises the signals’ power and forwards them to the ear via the speaker.

How Much Does a Hearing Aid Cost?

Per one report, the average price for one hearing aid is $2,300. The price can run from $1,604 for an entry-level hearing device to $2,063 for a mid-level option to $2,651 for a top-tier solution. Keep in mind that most people with hearing loss need two hearing aids.
Other reports put the average cost of a hearing aid at $1,000 to $4,000. The cheapest one ranges from $500 to $3,000, a midrange one costs between $3,000 and $4,500, and a premium one runs as a high as $4,500 to $6,000.
While you might be able to get hearing aids cheaper from a big-box retailer (e.g, Costco), this probably isn’t an option if you need comprehensive testing, follow-up visits, or specialty products. Also, most health insurance plans do not cover hearing aids — although there are some exceptions, depending on state law.
As for why hearing aids are so pricey, experts blame the medical device industry. They say that the industry is mostly an oligopoly and some companies have monopolized the market. This limited competition enables medical device companies to charge higher prices for hearing aids.

How Can I Find Affordable Hearing Aids?

1. CareConnect USA’s Affordable Hearing Aid Helpline. Just dial 866-479-1519 to connect with counselors who can help you find affordable hearing aids.

2. Hearing Aid Project, a nonprofit charity that provides hearing aids to low-income individuals. The organization offers a range of national and state resources, plus allows people to donate used hearing aids to assist those in need.
3. Foundation for Sight and Sound, a nonprofit charity that delivers financial assistance to individuals with sight or hearing impairments.
4. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) Information Clearinghouse. The NIDCD can put you in touch with organizations that offer financial assistance for hearing aids.
5. Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA supplies free or low-cost hearing health care to eligible U.S. veterans.

Other tips for saving money on hearing aids:

  • Shop around to get a feel for the hearing aid landscape before buying the product.
  • Know what’s involved in the pricing. If there’s a payment or subscription plan or bundling options, be sure to get the details. Inquire about the return and refund policies and warranty terms.
  • If you have Medicaid, check state law to determine whether coverage extends to hearing aids.
  • Ask your hearing health care provider to recommend local resources.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can hearing aids be donated? What is the used hearing aid donation value?
Are there hearing aid donations near me?
Are there hearing aid places near me?
Are hearing aids covered by Medicaid?
Can you recycle hearing aids?
Are there hearing aid charities?
I need a hearing aid but can’t afford them. Where can I turn?
Are hearing aids tax deductible?
Can you buy refurbished hearing aids? Where can I find used hearing aids?
Are old hearing aids still useful?
Is there a woman hearing aid? Are there hearing aids for young adults?
Are there hearing aids for seniors?
What is an old timey hearing aid?
Are American hearing aids more expensive?
Are there hearing aid assistance programs?
Are there free hearing aids?
What is Esco Hearing Aid insurance?
What are Audicus hearing aids?

Do Hearing Aids Require a Prescription?

Hearing aids are currently regarded as prescription products, typically dispensed by a hearing health care professional (such as an audiologist or otolaryngologist). Before prescribing the hearing aid, the health care professional should conduct a hearing evaluation, to determine the type and extent of hearing loss.

Note that Congress passed a law in 2017 authorizing over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids for adults suffering from mild-to-moderate hearing loss. Although the law is not yet in effect, President Biden has issued an executive order with directions to move forward. The OTC hearing aids will be regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Industry observers believe that the OTC hearing aids will cost less than those requiring a prescription. But, as indicated earlier, the OTC hearing aids will not apply to people with severe hearing loss, only those with mild-to-moderate impairment.

UPDATE: As of October 17, 2022, hearing aids may be purchased over the counter without a prescription.

For affordable hearing aids, call 866-479-1519.