What do you need to know? Over the counter hearing aidsPosted: September 26, 2022, 8:27AM
Over-the-counter hearing aids are now available directly to consumers without a medical exam or a fitting by an audiologist. (See Blog Archives: Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids, August 19, 2022) This option and lower prices will give more people access to hearing improvement.
There are things you need to know when looking into over-the-counter hearing aids.
The National Council on Aging Age Well Planner has an informative article on "Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids Are Coming: What Older Adults Need to Know". [Note: Since these devices are available to consumers over 18, I would suggest that this is information for ANYONE who is considering purchasing an over-the-counter hearing aid.]
Here are some of the suggestions.
- Do you want rechargeable or replaceable batteries? (Rechargeable may be a more expensive initial investment but may be less expensive than replacements.)
- Do you want Bluetooth auto streaming? (For watching TV, using the phone)
- Do you want feedback control, volume control, or a directional microphone?
- Do you want a hearing aid that is placed behind the ear or in the ear?
- Do you want a telecoil? (Read about this in the article.)
Jeff Rossen (WTAE Channel 4 Pittsburgh PA news 09/18/22) offered additional suggestions from Consumer Reports:
- What is the return policy?
- Are they sweat and water-resistant?
- Are there extra accessories?
Do your homework. Look into what is available and look for ratings.
Remember: Medicare does not cover hearing aids. Some Medicare Advantage plans offer Value Added benefits that may provide some hearing coverage. Check your policy or talk to your MA plan.