What are the Best Hearing Aid Options for Low-Income Seniors?
Although hearing loss affects people of all ages, it can be especially devastating for seniors who are no longer able to carry on a conversation with family or friends. Also, they may not be able to understand what their doctors are saying, respond to an emergency alarm, or hear their front doorbell ringing.
Unfortunately, hearing loss affects about a third of all seniors ages 65 to 74 and nearly half of seniors over 75. The good news is that there are several excellent options when it comes to hearing aids for low-income seniors.
Eargo, a hearing aid company that began life as a Silicon Valley startup, sells products directly to consumers via the Internet or by phone rather than through third parties. Unlike traditional hearing aids, Eargo’s revolutionary technology uses soft materials to dangle the hearing aid in the ear without blocking the ear canal. This allows low-pitched bass sounds to travel directly into the ear, so only higher-pitched treble sounds need to be amplified.
One of the main advantages of Eargo hearing aids is the relatively low cost of their three models: $1,650 for the Eargo Plus, $2,150 for the Eargo Max, and $2,750 for the new Eargo Neo. These prices are only about half as much as traditional hearing aids, which makes them a great option for low-income seniors.
In addition to their low prices, Eargo hearing aids are very comfortable to wear due to their Flexi Fiber technology. The hearing aids are extremely small and fit discretely into the ear canal, making them almost invisible. Additionally, the fact that they are rechargeable gives them a huge advantage over competing models that require batteries costing $50 or more.
MD Hearing Aids
MD Hearing Aids offers four models. Each of the following four models can be purchased on a monthly payment plan, making it a little easier for low-income seniors to afford one.
At $199, the Pro is MD Hearing Aid’s most affordable model for people with common types of hearing problems.
The Air, which sells for $399.99, is said to be MD Hearing Aid’s most popular model. It is comparable to competing models selling for $800 or more.
The Lux, which costs $649.99, provides better sound quality and additional noise reduction. It compares to competing models costing $1,500 or more.
Finally, MD Hearing Aid’s Core model, which is said to be their best model, goes for around $3,000. It has smartphone capabilities and can be customized to fit a person’s particular needs.
All four of MD Hearing Aid’s models are registered with the FDA, which should give seniors more confidence in the company’s products. MD Hearing Aid offers free shipping and a 45-day trial period. They also offer a money-back guarantee and a year’s supply of batteries. One of the cons of MD Hearing Aid is that their hearing aids require replacement batteries, which can become quite expensive.
Hear.com operates in nine different countries and has been in the United States since 2015. They offer hearing aids to customers online and then match the customer with one of their 1,600 partner providers who recommend a personalized course of action. Hear.com employs licensed audiologists and provides free consultations as part of their sales process. Customers are fitted with hearing aids that reflect the customer’s lifestyle, personal preferences, and degree of hearing loss. Hear.com’s website is easy for seniors to navigate and has many positive reviews.
Hear.com’s hearing aids are grouped into three price levels: basic hearing aids that range in price from $1,600 to $3,500, mid-priced hearing aids that range from $3,500 to $5,000, and premium hearing aids that range from $5,000 to $6,000. Their hearing aids feature Internet connectivity, digital noise reduction, and smartphone compatibility. Financing is available and they offer a 45-day trial period.
LifeEar’s smart technology is data-driven to provide its customers with hearing aids that are discrete, comfortable, and easy to use. Customers buy directly from the company and program their own device using their smartphone. This results in a custom solution that fits the customer’s unique hearing needs. The LifeEar Core is priced at $799 for a single unit and $1,599 for a pair.
LifeEar hearing aids are energy efficient and feature crystal clear conversations with background noise reduction. Other features include directional mics, digital feedback reduction, Internet connectivity, and wind noise reduction. Financing is available and a 45-day trial period is offered. Plus, LifeEar includes a year’s supply of batteries with each purchase and all units come with a 12-month warranty.
One of LifeEar’s cons is that support is only provided online or by phone. Many seniors, however, would prefer customized fitting and ongoing support by a hearing specialist or audiologist. Another con is the size of the hearing aid. Even though LifeEar refers to their Core model as a mini behind-the-ear unit, it is still much larger than some of the competing units, which are almost invisible.
There are plenty of good hearing aid options for low-income seniors. In addition to low prices, some hearing aids are nearly invisible and feature advanced technologies that provide crystal clear communications.
Low-income seniors who may need a hearing aid owe it to themselves to conduct their own research in order to find the products and services that will best match their needs.
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