Thursday, November 21, 2013

Can You Hear Me Now? The Market for Hearing Aids Works - With Direct Pay

Hearing aids have been expensive — until now.

An interesting story in the New York Times a little over a year ago relayed the journey of a woman who had broken the shell of one of her hearing aids. Shocked at the price of hearing aids from private audiologists — at least $2,000 for a set, and usually $3,000, she sought another solution. Learning that about 70 percent of this price is retail mark up,  the woman searched online and found hearing aids available at reputable online stores — such as Audicis or Costco — for as little as $399. Searching a little more, she found an audiologist who offered to repair the shell of her old hearing aid for $100. So, that’s the choice she made.

But it gets even better. Only one year later, new technology has allowed entrepreneurs to develop hearing aids that they plan to sell for $300, and that have better sound quality than ever, according to neutral reporters.

Why is this happening? Most hearing aids are paid directly by the patients.

Read the entire article at John Goodman's Health Policy Blog or Independent Institute's The Beacon blog.

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