HearingLife is a private company that specializes in fitting and selling hearing aids. Their clinics also help to check hearing issues and refer you to a doctor as needed. Let’s take a closer look.
HearingLife is a company consisting of more than 600 clinics in 42 states that offer audiology services and products. The company isn’t a hearing aid brand, but they do sell a variety of hearing aids. They offer hearing assessments and tests to help customers determine which devices work best.
Hearing health services from HearingLife aren’t designed to replace care from your primary health provider. However, some people may find services from such clinics easier to access, and they may save on time.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) helps regulate hearing aid clinics like HearingLife by prohibiting misleading practices. When considering a clinic, you should be aware that not all facilities employ audiologists.
HearingLife offers the following products and services:
- hearing tests, both in person and online
- free online hearing assessments
- hearing aids and fittings
- ear molds and impressions
- product extras, such as hearing aids with Bluetooth capabilities
- hearing aid repairs
The cost of HearingLife varies widely depending on what types of services and products you’re using.
According to the company, the full retail costs for each hearing aid range between $1200 and $3600. Hearing aids in general are expensive, but you may be able to offset your bottom line with medical insurance, health savings accounts, or financing.
Typically, hearing aids with the most features, such as those with Bluetooth capabilities, are more expensive than more traditional devices.
Does HearingLife take insurance?
HearingLife accepts most types of medical insurance, such as Aetna, Humana, and United Healthcare.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that not all insurance policies offer hearing coverage — this varies by state, clinics, and individual policies. You can check your coverage directly with your insurance company.
You should also inquire about your insurance directly with your local HearingLife clinic. If you don’t have insurance (or if the clinic doesn’t accept your insurance), you may still be able to purchase hearing aids and other products out of pocket.
To get started with HearingLife, you’ll first need to book an initial consultation. Appointments may be made over the phone or through the company’s website. The online process allows you to pick the clinic closest to you, choose a day and time, and submit your contact information to confirm.
Online hearing screenings are also available, which you may choose for better accessibility, convenience, or COVID-19 concerns. These tests take about 5 minutes to complete. Based on the results, you may choose either an in-person or telehealth visit with a clinic for further evaluation.
Before you discuss treatment options with a HearingLife team member, you may consider browsing the types of hearing aids the company offers. This can help you figure out what questions you’d like to ask, decide what you’re looking for, and help you save time.
During your appointment, a staff member will discuss your hearing concerns, any online hearing screening results you may have, and your medical history. They’ll also conduct further hearing tests in addition to a physical exam of your ears.
Once your results are tabulated, the staff member will discuss the recommended next steps. If they recommend a hearing aid, you may try on different versions at your same appointment. In some cases, they may refer you to an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor for more specialized treatment.
If the staff member recommends a hearing aid, they’ll go over the options at your appointment.
The company states that their most popular hearing aids are those that fit behind the ear, but they also offer traditional in-the-ear versions. All hearing aids come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and you may also be able to custom order certain shapes.
Some hearing aids from HearingLife offer additional features, such as Bluetooth technologies, 360-degree hearing abilities, and feedback elimination.
At your appointment, you may be able to try out different types of hearing aids, but the features you choose will depend on your exact hearing needs as discussed with the staff member.
Should your hearing device break, you may contact HearingLife to discuss replacement options. Depending on the manufacturer and the age of the device, repairs or replacements may be complimentary or require a fee.
Overall, HearingLife seems to have a positive reputation. But there are also complaints and issues that are important to be aware of.
HearingLife was first accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) in 2011. The company currently has an A+ rating with BBB.
But customers have given an average 1.89 rating out of 5 on BBB’s website. Customer complaints with the BBB tend to involve false advertising or issues with products.
Additionally, the BBB reported a lawsuit in 2018 against Oviatt Hearing and Balance in Syracuse, New York. Oviatt was bought by HearingLife. The complaint alleges unethical practices from Oviatt, including unlicensed staff.
While such practices weren’t technically done by HearingLife, the lawsuit serves as an important reminder to check with your local clinic’s own credentials.
On Glassdoor, current and former employees give HearingLife a rating of 3.3 out of 5. Some of the reviews commend a good working environment aimed at helping people, while others complain that the company is too sales and marketing oriented.
HearingLife’s website reports an average customer rating of 4.9 out of 5 based on over 5,000 reviews from Google and Facebook reviews. Some customers say that they appreciate the ease of HearingLife clinics as well as the variety of products offered.
When weighing the benefits of HearingLife against the downsides, consider the following points:
- Services and products may be convenient for many people, with same-day hearing appointments and device fittings possible.
- The company offers free initial consultations, with online appointments also available.
- HearingLife accepts most medical insurance and also offers financing options.
- Clinics aren’t substitutes for exams from medical doctors, which are recommended by
the FDAbefore buying hearing aids.
- HearingLife assessments aren’t designed to replace medical diagnoses.
- Customer experience and service can differ from clinic to clinic.
Alternatives to HearingLife include:
- Miracle-Ear. Like HearingLife, this company provides tests, consultations, and hearing aid products. Miracle-Ear is also a hearing aids manufacturer.
- Healthy Hearing. This is a referral service that provides links to reputable hearing clinics and hearing aid stores.
- Costco Hearing Aid Center. If you have a Costco membership, you may consider shopping at one of the highly rated hearing aid centers near you.
By providing hearing tests and assessments, as well as a variety of hearing aids, HearingLife may be an alternative to seeing a traditional audiologist. While some customers appreciate the ease of use, others have found the products and services expensive.
HearingLife accepts major insurance brands and also offers financing. It’s important to look through the company’s product options and to check any applicable insurance coverage before booking your appointment.
While HearingLife may be a convenient option for hearing tests and products, this service isn’t a substitute for your primary care doctor. If needed, a HearingLife provider may refer you to an ENT doctor for further evaluation.