A Hearing Loss & Late Deafened Blog

Hearing aid update

In Deafness, Employment, Hearing Loss on February 28, 2008 at 7:57 am

I just ordered a new hearing aid to replace the one that died last week. The old one was a state-of-the art GN ReSound digital aid when it came out 6.  years ago. The new one is a Unitron Unison. It’s considered an entry-level 2-channel digital aid, but it offers more features than the old one. It’s a power aid (the old one wasn’t) and has a manual volume control (the old one didn’t). Like the old one, it offers directional microphones, multiple listening programs and a telecoil. I was given a loaner aid similar to the new one while it is on order, and I immediately noticed the extra power. In addition, I was told that Unitron aids are generally more reliable than ReSounds.

I said that I wanted to spend as close to $1,000 as possible because that’s how much my insurance covers per ear. I didn’t quite make it under $1,000, but I came close enough. This one cost $1,345, including a new earmold and 2-year supply of batteries. That means it’s just costing $345 out of pocket, or less than the $450 I would have had to pay to get my old aid repaired. We actually had an interesting discussion about prices. I had suggested I try an analog aid if it were cheaper, but I was told analogs are now more expensive, around $2,000, because they’re no longer sold in volume. The other interesting thing I was told is that entry-level digital aids these days have every available feature because they’re the ones that are heavily marketed to new consumers.

My audiologist’s office is affiliated with an international chain, so I assume the price list is fairly standard. He was working from a Canadian price list, but Canadian and American dollars are worth about the same these days. The new aid will arrive in about a week and will come with a 60-day trial.

In the meantime, I’m happy to have the loaner. I just heard lots of birds chirping, which I haven’t heard for a long time.    I’m quite happy .

Wordsmith

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  1. May I ask, what kind of insurance do you have? Am wondering since mine only covers HA for 18 yrs old and younger. Over 18 over coverage is only for BAHAs. Which is silly, to say the least.

  2. Candy,
    My insurance is provided through my employer. It used to cover $200 per ear every five years, but was raised to $1,000. That’s still not enough to fully cover entry-level hearing aids, but I’m thankful that it’s more than many people have.

  3. I’m still not sure what an “entry level” aid means. Is it an analog that’s digitally programmed? Or is it a fully digital aid? I’m glad to hear you got a power aid. Mine is a power aid, but I guess it no longer has enough power because I’m not hearing so well with it.
    😦

  4. Mine is a fully digital aid with more features than the six-year-old aid it replaced. So-called entry-level aids generally have fewer digital channels and bands than high-end ones, but guess what? I don’t notice it. My hearing loss is simple. I just want volume, and I love that I get more power with this one and can adjust the volume control, and still can use the directional microphones with three listening programs, plus a telecoil.

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