Frequently Asked Questions
What is a digital hearing instrument?
How much do hearing instruments cost?
Does insurance cover the cost of hearing instruments?
How do I know which hearing instruments are the best for me?
What is the process for getting a hearing instrument?
Does your office offer an adjustment/trial period for hearing instruments?
Do you repair hearing instruments if they break or don’t work?
Do you offer payment plans for purchasing hearing instruments?
Will you provide service if I bought my hearing instruments somewhere else?
Q. What is a digital hearing instrument?
A. Digital instruments have a computer chip in them, which allows sound to be processed at least 150 million times per second, and provides the listener with clear and distinct speech sounds. Because of this fast processing speed, digital products can give more volume for soft sounds (speech) and less volume for loud sounds (loud noise or a door slamming). The newest digital devices include products designed to be trendy and virtually invisible; assist speech understanding in the presence of background noise; provide excellent fidelity and noise reduction; and adjust automatically to environmental changes in sound. Our practice works with over 10 different hearing instrument manufacturers to give you the sound you want and expect.
Q. How much do hearing instruments cost?
A. Hearing instruments range in price from about $1200 to $4000 each. The cost is primarily dependent on the type of technology, but also by the size and style of the instrument. Generally speaking, the more expensive hearing instruments typically contain the newest and most innovative technologies, including advanced noise reduction, better automatic features, and advanced feedback control compared to less expensive devices.
Q. Does insurance cover the cost of hearing instruments?
A. Most major insurance companies do not provide hearing instrument benefits; however, there are increasingly more managed care operations and large corporations that have negotiated hearing benefits from certain providers. We would be happy to get your insurance information and contact your company to determine what, if any, benefits you may have. Unfortunately, Medicare statutorily does not cover benefits for hearing instruments at this time.
Q. How do I know which hearing instruments are the best for me?
A. You must first have your hearing evaluated by an audiologist to determine if you are even a candidate for hearing instruments. Once the need for hearing devices has been established, your audiologist will propose various styles, makes, and technologies that are appropriate for your hearing loss and your specific communication requirements. It is important to be aware of the fact that everyone’s hearing is unique, and consequently, what may be an appropriate hearing instrument choice for one person is completely inappropriate for another.
Q. What is the process for getting a hearing instrument?
A. Prior to being fit with hearing instruments, it is very important that you be examined by an audiologist to determine the extent and type of hearing problem that you have. Following that, your audiologist will explain the test results in detail and determine if you are a candidate for hearing instruments and, if so, what would be the most appropriate amplification for your hearing loss. During this visit, you will have the opportunity to listen to various products and technology available so that you will know what the devices sound like before you purchase them. If hearing instruments are indicated, then your ear(s) will be measured to customize the fit to your particular ear shape. Depending on the product chosen, you may be fit at the time of this visit, or you may return at a later date to receive your new hearing instruments, along with complete instructions on how to care for them. Your audiologist will schedule weekly follow-up visits to be sure they are working properly for you.
Q. Does your office offer an adjustment/trial period for hearing instruments?
A. We offer a 30-day adjustment period on all hearing instruments dispensed. During that period, your audiologist will work very closely with you to assure that you are getting the most from your new hearing instruments. If we determine that another brand or model than what you started with would be more appropriate to address your concerns, we will be more than happy to change the product in order to meet your expectations without any penalty to you. However, if at any time during the adjustment period you decide that the hearing instruments are not working for you, simply return them in good condition and your money will be refunded less a small dispensing fee to compensate us for our time and non-refundable materials utilized during the adjustment period.
Q. Do you repair hearing instruments if they break or don’t work?
A. One of our qualified team members can check your hearing instruments and determine if the problem is something that they can repair in our office or whether it requires manufacturer service. If your device must be sent to the manufacturer for service, the repair cost and warranty will be dependent upon the manufacturers’ policies and the age of the instrument. Typically, there are no repair charges from the manufacturer if your hearing instruments are under their original warranty. In our Dallas weather (and other humid areas), we expect that, on average, one to two repairs are needed each year. We highly recommend that you extend your warranty for as long as the manufacturer allows, as in-warranty repairs tend to be much less expensive than out-of-warranty repairs. Additionally, we recommend that hearing instruments be sent to the manufacturer about once a year anyway, in order to have the microphones and amplifier checked/repaired, as those are parts that we cannot repair in the office.
Q. Do you offer payment plans for purchasing hearing instruments?
A. Our office strives to offer affordable hearing instruments and payment options to all people seeking hearing assistance. If you need special payment arrangements, your audiologist can discuss these options with you at the time of your appointment.
Will you provide service if I bought my hearing instruments somewhere else?
A. Even if you have purchased your hearing instruments elsewhere, we are happy to provide you with the service you need and deserve. We offer three plan options and encourage you to enjoy all the benefits of improved hearing for years to come. All of the plans include our office calling the manufacturer and verifying the warranty and repair status of your devices.
- Plan A: Unbundled Service Plan
This plan allows you to pay for all the services we provide "a la carte" as you need them. This means that there are charges for office visits, hearing testing to program your devices, reprogramming, counseling on the use of your instruments, hearing instrument cleanings, and device modifications.
If you are in from out of town, or will just be seeing us because your other service provider is unavailable, then this plan is probably best for you.
- Plan B: Office Visit Service Plan
This plan allows you to pay a one time professional fee for 3 office visits during a 45-day period (around $100). These visits include programming adjustments to your hearing instruments, modifications, and any counseling/orientation to the devices that may be needed. Hearing testing for the purpose of the initial instrument programming would be a separate cost. (Some restrictions apply to this plan.)
Plan B is geared towards people who are experienced hearing instrument users, and need programming and orientation to new devices that they received elsewhere. If you are a new hearing instrument user, if your hearing instruments are older and need repairs, or if you tend to need more personal attention, then we recommend that you read about Plan C below.
- Plan C: Bundled Service Plan
This all-inclusive service plan allows you to pay a one-time "adoption" fee ($500). We will extend to you the same full services and privileges as we would to someone who purchased hearing instruments directly from us. This includes visits for hearing evaluations to program your instruments, reprogramming/adjustments to your devices, counseling visits (including instructions on care, use, and maintenance of the instruments and any modifications needed to ensure comfort of the devices), all in-warranty services, and future hearing instrument demonstrations. [Professional services such as earwax removal, full diagnostic hearing tests, and tube changes are not included.]
If you are choosing our office as your new hearing service center, or you will be using our services regularly/consistently, then Plan C is the best and most economical plan for you.
Thank you for making me feel normal again. The new hearing aid brings out the residual hearing and makes me feel whole again.
If you enjoy people and want to hear what they say, get an appointment with Total Hearing Care.
Total Hearing Care could not have been more kind and understanding. Everything they said came true, and I do thank them over and over again!!
In the 40 years that I have been wearing hearing aids, nowhere (and we have lived from coast to coast and border to border) have we found the caring kind of service Total Hearing Care has given me!
Total Hearing Care is a place where you will find hope for your situation. The staff here is loving, caring, and the only thing important to them is to help you — it is a pleasure to be their patient.
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