Hearing loss is common. It affects around 37.5 million adults in the United States.
Untreated hearing loss can greatly reduce quality of life, but only 1 in 4 people with hearing loss use hearing aids. There are many reasons why, but chief among them may be cost.
Hearing aids are expensive. The average cost of hearing aids is just under $5,000. And these pricey devices are also not a once-in-a-lifetime purchase.
Untreated hearing loss can lead to social isolation and depression. Even minor hearing loss can increase the risk of falls and broken bones.
Conditions that may be made worse or accelerated by hearing loss include dementia and cognitive decline.
Despite this, most health insurance plans, including original Medicare, don’t cover the cost of hearing aids.
TruHearing is trying to even the playing field economically for people with hearing loss. Here’s how.
TruHearing is a third-party managed care company.
TruHearing works with health insurance plans to provide full-service hearing healthcare to consumers, including lower-cost hearing aids.
TruHearing partners with approximately 80 insurance companies, including:
- Blue Cross Blue Shield
How TruHearing categorizes hearing aid options
The hearing aids available through TruHearing are categorized by technology level. Each level includes types of hearing aids, such as receiver-in-ear and behind-the-ear. The levels are:
- Standard (least expensive). Good for predictable environments, such as your home. Features include noise reduction, Bluetooth, and charging capabilities.
- Advanced. Good for noisier environments and for use when in motion. Features include motion sensors and artificial intelligence (AI) technology
- Premium (most expensive). Good for the most challenging hearing environments, like parties and restaurants. Features include extended bandwidth and echo-blocking technology
The cost structure for your hearing aids will be determined by your insurer. In general, there are two programs that may be available to you:
- TruHearing Choice includes hearing aids on the standard, advanced, and premium levels.
- TruHearing Select is customized by your health plan. It includes hearing aids on the premium and advanced levels.
If your insurer doesn’t work with TruHearing, you can still purchase discounted hearing aids through its website.
According to TruHearing, its hearing aids cost 30 to 60 percent less than retail.
TruHearing aids cost from around $675 to $2,250 each. The company offers many hearing aids that cost less than $1,000 throughout all three technology levels.
Each hearing aid comes with a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty that includes coverage for repairs. The warranty also includes one-time loss and damage replacement.
TruHearing has a free app for iOS and Android. You can use it to change your hearing programs, volume, and other settings through your smartphone. You can also use the app for virtual appointments.
TruHearing offers more than 200 hearing aids from manufacturers such as:
TruHearing also sells its own brand of hearing aids, which are manufactured by Signia.
Some hearing aids you’ll find include:
- Starkey Livio Edge AI receiver-in-canal and behind-the-ear. These are rechargeable hearing aids that make adjustments automatically.
- ReSound LiNX Quattro 9. It’s available in behind-the-ear, completely-in-canal, and receiver-in-canal styles.
- Oticon CROS. These are budget-priced, rechargeable miniRITE hearing aids.
Each hearing aid comes with a 45-day, risk-free trial. If you don’t like your hearing aids, you can return them for a full refund and no additional shipping costs.
Hearing aids come with a 3-year warranty. Your warranty will cover repairs if needed, plus provide a one-time loss or damage replacement.
After 3 years, if your hearing aids are damaged beyond repair, you will incur some level of cost to replace them. Replacement fees vary by manufacturer, but typically range between $110 and $195.
TruHearing doesn’t charge shipping for hearing aids or batteries. There’s a $5 shipping free for hearing aid supplies, though.
TruHearing has an A+ Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating. BBB’s ratings indicate a company’s willingness to engage with customer complaints and service questions.
However, customers have complained about TruHearing’s billing. On the BBB site, customers note that coordination between their insurance company and TruHearing was lacking, which affected the way billing was handled.
On Yelp, TruHearing has positive reviews for cost and quality, but also complaints that are similar to those on the BBB website.
TruHearing works with approximately 6,000 hearing care providers, including audiologists and hearing aid specialists, throughout the country.
You’re assigned a hearing professional to talk about or determine the type of hearing loss you have and the kind of hearing aids that would be best for your needs.
Your first step is to call a TruHearing consultant at 800-334-1807. The consultant will check your insurance eligibility and let you know the costs you can expect to incur. They’ll also set up an appointment for you with a hearing specialist.
You’ll then get a hearing exam and fitting at your appointment. You can discuss hearing aid options that make sense for your hearing loss level and budget. Your hearing specialist will order your hearing aids for you at that time.
TruHearing will handle the paperwork, so you won’t have to submit a bill to your insurer.
After your hearing aids arrive, you have two additional appointments available with your hearing provider at no additional cost.
TruHearing is a third-party company that works with insurance providers to offer lower-cost hearing aids to people.
The company offers a wide selection of hearing aids for all hearing loss levels from major manufacturers. Your selection may be determined by the type of plan your health insurer has with TruHearing.
If your health insurer doesn’t work with TruHearing, you can still buy hearing aids through its website.