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If you or a loved one has difficulty hearing, you may be thinking about buying hearing aids.
Hearing aids are expensive and typically not covered by insurance, so looking for cost-effective options makes sense.
There are definite pros and cons to shopping for hearing aids through a wholesale club such as Costco. Read on to learn everything you need to know, before you buy.
Costco has over 500 warehouse locations in the United States. Most, though not all, have a hearing aid center onsite.
Since hearing aids are based on prescriptions and individual needs, Costco’s hearing aid services are centered on these physical locations.
Costco Hearing Aid Centers are staffed primarily by licensed hearing aid specialists. Unlike audiologists, hearing aid specialists don’t have an advanced degree. Some Costco Hearing Aid Centers also have audiologists on staff.
If it’s important to you to see an audiologist, find out if this is possible at your location before you book an appointment.
Costco members can schedule a no-obligation hearing test at a hearing aid center and can purchase hearing aids there. Cleanings, adjustments, and follow-up appointments can also be done at the hearing aid center.
One drawback mentioned in older online reviews is the inability to purchase Costco hearing aids online.
When you have hearing aids, Costco offers limited support services for some hearing aids remotely.
Costco carries five hearing aid brands:
Kirkland Signature is Costco’s private label brand. Kirkland hearing aids are manufactured by Sonova International, a Swiss hearing aid company. Sonova also manufactures hearing aids under the Phonak, Hansaton, and Unitron labels.
The following hearing aid types are available:
- open fit
- behind the ear
- in the ear
- completely in the canal
- Bluetooth capable
Costco also carries hearing aid accessories, such as batteries, and clip-on microphones.
Do you have to have a Costco membership?
Yes. You must be a Costco member to buy hearing aids from the company or to use the complimentary services in their hearing aids centers. These include:
- free hearing test
- free hearing aid product demonstrations
- free follow-up appointments
- free hearing aid cleanings and checkups
- free hearing aid adjustments
Because they buy in bulk, Costco is able to sell hearing aids at a low or deeply discounted price. You can find multiple hearing aids here that cost around $1,500 for the pair.
Hearing aids at Costco include free services that are typically folded into bundled hearing aid packages. In addition to the in-person services listed above, these include:
- loss and damage coverage with no deductible
- a warranty period, which varies by hearing aid model
Because their costs are already low, Costco doesn’t offer payment plans for hearing aids. You’ll be required to pay the full cost of your hearing aids up front.
How much do Costco brand hearing aids cost?
Kirkland Signature hearing aids are considerably less expensive than many other brands of comparable hearing aids.
For example, Kirkland Signature 10.0 with Tcoil Premium Digital Rechargeable Hearing Instruments cost $1,399.99 per pair. This includes a charger case, travel pouch, cleaning cloth, and brush.
How much does a Costco membership cost?
In order to shop at Costco Hearing Aid Centers, you’ll need to be a Costco member. Membership fees start at $60 annually.
Will Costco take insurance?
Costco doesn’t accept insurance for hearing aids. Hearing aids are not usually covered by health insurance plans, including original Medicare.
If you have an insurance plan that covers hearing aids, you can still shop at Costco. You’ll have to submit an invoice to your insurer for reimbursement, after payment.
Costco Hearing Aid Centers are only available to Costco members. They provide a full range of services, including initial hearing tests, fittings, adjustments, cleanings, and follow-up appointments.
They don’t offer a repair service on hearing aids.
The type of warranty you get on your hearing aids will depend on which brand and type you buy.
Most hearing aids can be returned for a full refund within 180 days.
Costco provides free loss and damage coverage with no deductible.
Before you book your first appointment for a hearing test, download and fill out Costco’s patient intake form in either English or Spanish. The form requires information such as your medical history and hearing history.
The hearing test is done in a private sound booth and will take about an hour.
After the test, you have the option of meeting with a hearing aid specialist to go over your hearing needs and potential solutions. At that time, you can access product demonstrations, which can help you decide which type and brand of hearing aid will be best for you. The hearing aid specialist may make recommendations for you to consider.
You’ll receive a date for a follow-up appointment or fitting. In some instances, you may have to return to get your hearing aids at a later appointment.
You’ll also receive a member journal, which provides information about your hearing aids, plus tips for caring for and getting used to them.
Costco Hearing Aid Centers and hearing aids have a solid, positive track record with users. Low cost is a major driver of the good reviews they receive online.
Since there are so many locations, your experience may vary. If you’re considering buying hearing aids at Costco, talking with local customers and accessing regional reviews may help provide specific information about the location near you.
Hearing aids can be purchased directly through an audiologist who works with you on your hearing health. They can also be purchased through brick-and-mortar retailers and online sellers. Many online hearing aid stores offer low cost options that are similar to Costco’s.
Most sellers offer five to six brands of hearing aids. If you want a particular brand, you can look for an authorized local or online seller through that brand’s website.
Costco Hearing Aid Centers offer a low cost way to purchase hearing aids. They sell five brands, including Kirkland Signature, their own private label brand.
Costco sells every type of hearing aid, including some with rechargeable batteries and some that are Bluetooth capable.
If you already have hearing aids, Costco does provide support services for some of their products remotely.
In-person services include a free hearing test, fitting, and follow-up appointments.