How much do NHS Hearing Aids Cost?
NHS Hearing Aids cost nothing, they are completely free. The range of options is limited, but all are digital these days. The only costs involved will be the cost of travelling to your GP and the audiology department at your local hospital for appointments.
Once your GP has assessed whether your hearing problem needs the input of an audiologist then they will refer you to the local hospital for an appointment. The full step by step guide is here in our Guide to NHS Hearing Aids. Not only are the hearing aids that the NHS provide free, but the batteries and maintenance are free as well. Although, as the hearing aids are only loaned to you and not given to you, the NHS can charge for the cost of repair or replacement if the hearing aid is damaged.
We have written this guide with information on NHS Hearing Aid Batteries Options. It can be difficult for some people to visit the audiology department of their local hospital either because of distance or travel costs. The government has started the AQP scheme, which may be a useful alternative. Read more about it here.
Why are Hearing Aids so expensive?
Hearing aids are delicate pieces of highly advanced technology with carefully designed chips to help you hear. Up-to-date features can include bluetooth, telephone compatibility, weather protection, and directional speech enhancements. All this takes hard work from many experts to develop the tiny invisible hearing aids that we have today.
The other expense associated with hearing aids is in the fitting and after-care. A hearing aid may require multiple appointments, first to assess the hearing problem and then to fit the hearing aid. At HearingDirect we have minimised all the usual overheads as much as possible to bring you the most affordable high-quality hearing aids on the market. Our hearing aids are 'open-fit' which means that the flexible domes will support all shapes of ear and don't require fitting. Our audiologist Joan and her team can help with most problems over the phone and we offer a repair service by post. All this brings our prices down to amongst the cheapest.
Can I get financial help with hearing aid costs?
If you decide that NHS Hearing Aids are not for you then buying Hearing aids privately can sometimes be an expensive investment. Some models can be as much as a secondhand family car. Not at Hearing Direct. Our founding principal was to provide affordable hearing aids direct to the customer. There are various other ways to make it more affordable:
Can I pay by installments?
It is crucial to know which type of hearing aid is the most appropriate for your individual condition. Once you know your options, it is wise to shop around as prices can vary considerably even for the same model. Some high street hearing aid retailers have special monthly installment packages. You will usually have to pay part of the sum at the time of purchase and the rest will be split over a specific number of months. Such packages may seem convenient and affordable but you need to be aware of the interest rate as very few offer interest free options. In many cases, the final total cost for a hearing aid could be a lot more than the initial price. Paying a small sum every month may seem more affordable in the short term but can be very expensive in the end. It is also important to take the lifetime of the hearing aid into account when thinking about repayments.
Will my Health Insurance cover the costs?
Some people think that their health insurance policy includes costs for a hearing aid. However, very few insurance companies offer cover for hearing aids and you should check whether your expenses would be covered completely or at all.
Buying Online for Home Delivery
Nevertheless, there are some more recent alternatives, namely in the form of home delivery. Fortunately, many online retailers offer a great variety of hearing aid models at reasonable prices. You can choose and buy your hearing aid online and have it delivered to your door, often with free delivery. Prices of hearing aids offered online are considerably lower than those in most high street shops. At Hearing Direct you can find some of the cheapest, high-quality digital hearing aids on the market. A very affordable alternative to the high street.
Do you know if you are eligible to reclaim VAT?
In addition, a number of other hearing devices at hearingdirect.com are free from VAT. They are zero-rated products and you can recognise them by the special seal they have. If you are eligible to claim relief from VAT, i.e. you have a chronic medical condition or you are disabled, you only need to fill in the VAT Relief Form and send it to us after your purchase. After we receive the form, we will refund you the VAT in full, which currently amounts to 20%.
In case you are unsure about the products that are zero-rated you can call 0800 032 1301. Furthermore, some websites also offer support and additional benefits. At hearingdirect.com, you can check your hearing online for free and turn to a qualified audiologist in case you have questions concerning hearing advice and products.
About Hearing Direct
We are one of the world's leading hearing aid specialists. HearingDirect offers a wide range of affordable products, and information resources to help improve the quality of life for the hard of hearing. We sell:
- Hearing aids,
- Accessories such as earplugs,
- and amplified devices such as super loud alarm clocks and amplified phones.
Author: Joan McKechnie
After qualifying as a Speech-Language Pathologist and Audiologist Joan has spent most of her 20 year career in hearing-care related roles. She has a wealth of experience within the hearing aid and hearing rehabilitation fields and has worked in manufacturing environments with two hearing aid companies helping to develop products and roll out new technologies. Joan has been involved with Hearing Direct since its launch and enjoys the online retail environment which seeks to provide easier access to hearing products and accessories. She is HCPC registered. Read Joan's full bio here.