What's the Cost of Kids' Hearing Aids?
If your child has been diagnosed with hearing loss you’re probably wondering about hearing aids. Today, we’re going to break down hearing aid costs for kids. If you’re having difficulty with the cost, check out our comprehensive guide to affordable hearing aids in the United States.
The Cost of Kids’ Hearing Aids
Kids hearing aids are different from those for adults. According to the most recent information from Healthy Hearing, you can expect the cost to be in the range of $1,000-$6,000 per hearing aid. The huge discrepancy in price depends on the technology.
Behind-the-ear hearing analog aids that are not programmable (the most basic hearing aids) are the least expensive. Mid-range hearing aids are usually analog but programmable. The most expensive hearing aids are digital and programmable (Raising Deaf Kids).
Luckily, the price is often for not just the hearing aid but also:
Initial fitting and all adjustments
1-3 year warranty (all repairs, often a one-time replacement policy)
Hearing aid batteries are used up quickly. Because of the different types of batteries and levels of use, it’s hard to calculate how much batteries cost over a year. Hearing Tracker goes into this in depth using data from a comprehensive survey. Using their baseline data we can estimate the average child to need 52 batteries per year (1 per week). Of course, use varies greatly. For example, hearing aids can now stream audio from devices which drains the battery much faster.
There are hearing aids with rechargeable batteries. Talk to your child’s hearing aid specialist to see if this is a good option for you.
Now, Multiply That Cost Times Two
Most kids benefit from two hearing aids. Hearing loss is often in both ears and it is better for the child to have improved hearing in both ears. The reasons for this are two fold: safety and development. First, hearing in only one ear can make it difficult to tell from which direction sounds are coming. Directional sound is important when driving, walking and when playing sports. Second, language and social skills develop through hearing so having limited hearing because of a hearing aid can affect development.
At the end of the day, the costs can be prohibitive. Insurance often doesn’t cover hearing aids or only covers one. But the cost of not getting hearing aids is far more.
The Cost of Skipping Hearing Aids
While people live successful and fulfilling lives with zero hearing, kids who can hear with the help of hearing aids are often in a better position when it comes to academic, social and emotional health if they have access to hearing aids.
Affording Hearing Aids
There are ways to get help with the cost of your kid’s hearing aids. In addition to our guide to hearing aid cost resources in the US Infant Hearing provides a fact sheet with resources and strategies including:
Local University Programs. Many colleges and universities have training programs that supply refurbished hearing aids at a significantly reduced price.
Childrens’ Hospitals. These institutions, which are usually state of the art, also have relationships with organizations that down the cost of hearing aids considerably.
Deduct the Costs. Talk to your accountant or research your options for deductions online. IRS Publication 502 Medical and Dental Expenses, for example, explains how to deduct significant medical expenses.
Kids hearing aids are costly but there are many options to help reduce those costs both public and private and at the local, state and federal level.