Did you know that over the last two decades there has been a significant advance in hearing aid technology? This makes hearing aids the most common form of treatment for hearing loss. Hearing aids are important when it comes to improving your quality of life especially if you’ve been diagnosed with hearing loss. According to a Statistics Canada report released on October 20, 2021, 60% of Canadians experience hearing loss or impairment.
Even if you already know that you are going to need hearing aids, the cost of hearing aids can be a significant barrier to accessing them. Unfortunately, not all insurance policies are made equal, and it can be difficult to maximize coverage. Thankfully, many Canadians have insurance for hearing aids, and a company like hearcanada.com is also available to provide you with the accessories and the associated services. In this article, we'll help you navigate the insurance system. Understanding your options can help you make informed decisions about your hearing health and access the care you need. This article details everything you need to know about the types of hearing aids, and hearing aid prices in Canada.
Which hearing aid is right for you? Learn about the top brands, prices, and features in this complete guide to choosing the perfect hearing aid.
Understanding Hearing Aid Coverage
Hearing aid coverage in Canada varies depending on where you live. After you've determined your coverage, the first step will be to schedule a hearing test to identify whether or not you have hearing loss and to what extent.
After hearing evaluation testing, your hearing instrument expert will propose the appropriate device based on your hearing loss, aesthetic and lifestyle requirements. The cost of a hearing aid varies depending on the brand, type and features chosen. Some people choose a device that’s easy to remove and has advanced features, but others prefer something private that provides a natural audio experience.
Hearing Aids and Health Insurance
To amplify ambient sounds and transmit them to the ear, all hearing aids use the same fundamental components. Most hearing aids are digital, and they can be powered by either standard batteries or rechargeable ones. If you have personal health insurance through your employment or another source, you can get more info about the cover provided. However, if you don't have private cover, there are numerous programs to guarantee you have the assistance you need, like the Assistive Devices Program.
Assistive Devices Program (ADP)
After being diagnosed with hearing impairment, you need to pick appropriate hearing devices and have them fitted. While financing varies by private insurance companies, ADP in Ontario provides help to citizens of all ages.
To be eligible for ADP assistance, you must be an Ontario resident, with a valid health card, and have an impairment that demands the use of hearing device for six months if not longer.
Coverage is available for partially-in-the-canal (PIC), behind-the-ear (BTE), completely-in-canal (CIC), and in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids, as well as personal FM systems that include a receiver worn by you and a transmitter worn by the person speaking.
While determining eligibility, income is not taken into account. Also, certain people may be ineligible if they receive Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) funding for a similar hearing equipment.
What Devices Are Included?
There are different types of devices that are supported when utilizing ADP. They include:
- Cochlear implants
- Hearing aids
- Speech-impaired or deaf teletypewriters
- FM systems
- Bone-anchored hearing aids (BAHA)
Your specialist will help you to determine which gadgets will assist you the most in your daily life. Those who receive financial assistance from Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program can qualify for a full coverage for the appropriate technology.
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What Hearing Aid You Should Consider
Hearing aids all have the same basic components. The hearing aid has a small microphone that picks up the sound around you. The computer chip in the hearing aid then uses the amplifier to then amplify the signal. Allowing you to hear clearly.
Even though the components are simpler, many other factors set apart hearing aid devices. When choosing a hearing aid, these are the other factors that are going to help you determine which device is the best fit for you.
What Is Your Level of Hearing Loss?
The severity of your hearing loss will determine the hearing aids that you have available to you. After getting a hearing test done, you will understand which of the five categories of hearing loss you fall into.
The most common styles of hearing aids are behind-the-ear, in-the-canal, and receiver-in-canal.
Here are the five categories of hearing loss and the available hearing aids.
Normal hearing (<25dB)
If your hearing is less than or equal to 25 decibels then your hearing is considered normal.
Mild hearing loss (26-40 dB) to Moderate hearing loss (41-60 dB)
When you fall into the range of mild to moderate hearing loss you may choose any hearing device that feels the most comfortable to you.
Severe hearing loss (61-80 dB)
Severe hearing loss means that you can choose "in-the-ear", "behind-the-ear", or "miniRITE".
Profound hearing loss (>80 dB)
If you have profound hearing loss then your best option is a "behind-the-ear".
Getting a professional medical examination where an Otolaryngologist (ENT) can explain the severity of your hearing loss, will help you determine what type of hearing aid will benefit you the most.
Hearing Aid Technology
In today's day and age, technology in hearing aids provides you the best experience for hearing. For example, it is possible to connect some hearing aids to a TV or smart device so the audio comes through the device.
With technology, you will also be able to experience higher sound quality and clarity.
Some of the other technology features that are important to look at are,
- Directional Microphone
- Feedback Suppression
- Digital Noise Reduction
Remote controls and wireless connectivity are other upgrades in technology that you should consider when buying a hearing aid. They are not essential but will make your life more efficient.
The Comfort of The Device
Hearing aids should never be uncomfortable. Especially if this is your first pair of hearing aids, you want to make sure the fit is tailored to you and comfortable.
Both behind-the-ear and in-the-ear hearing aids can be made from different materials. Make sure that you pay attention to what materials are used on the device.
Most people find the behind-the-ear hearing aids to be more comfortable than a hearing aid that goes in-the-ear. However, the in-the-ear styles are less visible and more discreet.
The size and shape of your ear, along with the level of hearing loss, will determine if you can have in-the-ear or another type of hearing aid.
Your Social Engagements and Activities
What activities do you participate in daily? The answer to that question will greatly help to determine the type of hearing aid you require.
The more social you are, the higher-level technology you will need. The advanced features have functions like automatically adjusting to the sound environment. If you are at a live entertainment event or in a room full of people, this will make a big difference.
Part of your engagement is going to include work. If your work environment has a lot of meetings, presentations, or social hours, then you may want to consider a hearing aid with features like 360-degree sound, wireless connectivity, and automatic sound adjustments.
Other Things to Remember When Purchasing
There are some other details of choosing a hearing aid to consider. While these details are smaller, they could make a big difference in the quality of your life.
The Sound Quality
This hearing aid is going to be what allows you to hear properly. So, the sound can not just be louder. The sound needs to be sent through the speakers of the hearing aid.
Some hearing aids need specific batteries and some hearing aids have rechargeable batteries. Depending on your dexterity, this can make a big difference for some people.
Rechargeable batteries are also lower maintenance, therefore there's less time spent worrying about if you have extra batteries lying around.
What The Customer Service Is Like
Getting used to a hearing aid is going to be an adjustment. You are going to have questions about the hearing aid that arise. You will also most likely be trying to make some minor adjustments.
That is why it is so important to get your hearing aid from a company with great reviews. You'll want to know that the customer service department is available 24/7. After all, your hearing doesn't take a break.
Hearing Aid Prices in Canada
One of the key factors in choosing the right hearing aid is the price. The hearing aid prices in Canada are determined by a few factors. The first being the technology and what the technology is capable of.
While basic hearing aids work well in a quiet environment, a lot of people need more. The advanced features make communication easier. However, a lot of health insurance plans do not cover the cost of hearing aids.
This can put a financial strain on you as the buyer. According to a survey, 71% of people who need hearing aids put off purchasing the aids for two years simply because of the cost.
The average hearing aid costs $2,710. The good news is that the special batteries that are needed for hearing aids are affordable and can be found at most drugstores or online.
According to the House of Hearing, here is a typical price of a hearing aid at a hearing clinic in Canada. Keep in mind that all the information below is listed per hearing aid and not as a set.
These are the cheapest hearing aids on the market. Essential level hearing aids come with a limited number of features on them. At this level, the hearing aid will allow you to listen in quiet environments.
The cost for these hearing aids is going to be around $2,000 per hearing aid. Being an Ontario resident, you may be eligible for ADP (Assistive Devices Program) funding. One of the requirements is that you must not have purchased hearing aids in the past five years. If you qualify, ADP will cover up to $500 per device.
With the standard level hearing aid, the technology is slightly more advanced than the essential level. Your hearing aid will still only assist you in relatively quiet environments.
Pricing starts at $2,000 and goes up to $2,500 per hearing device. Being eligible for ADP, and living in Ontario, the price will drop to $1,500 or $2,000 per hearing aid.
The advanced level hearing aid is typically the right answer for most people. These hearing aids have good sound quality and allow you to hear in loud environments.
Advanced level hearing aids start at $3,000 and go up to $3,500 per device. Again, if you live in Ontario and qualify for ADP the price ranges from $2,500 to $3,000.
Premium level hearing aids feature the best in hearing aid technology. With these hearing aids, you will have the best sound quality. You will also be able to hear extremely well even in noisy environments.
These hearing aids also come in rechargeable options and have wireless connectivity to mobile devices. If you have a very social or active lifestyle, premium hearing aids are going to be the best option.
The price ranges from $3,500 to $4,000. Pricing will decrease if you are an Ontario resident eligible for ADP.
The Best Hearing Aid Brands and Devices to Consider
Even if you know how to shop for a hearing aid, parsing through all of the hearing aid companies can be overwhelming.
This is a list of hearing aid brands commonly found in Canada. These are some of the most highly recommended brands and are a great place to start shopping.
Signia is a brand that is well known for its rechargeable hearing aids and Bluetooth technology. If those features are important to you, this would be a good company to look at.
Their newest models include Charge & Go and Styletto.
Phonak is one of the world's largest hearing aid providers. They are holding 24% of the market right now.
The newest models from Phonak include Belong and Paradise series.
If you are looking for the latest and greatest in hearing aid technology, Oticon is the brand for you. They are recognized for their innovation with technology.
Oticon's Opn model even has internet connectivity.
GN ReSound does not only provide hearing aids, they are an audiological instruments manufacturer as well. They are located in over 80 countries.
Linx 3D and the Quattro series are their latest models.
Windex has a lot of history in the hearing aid world. They created digital hearing aids in 1996.
Some of their latest models include Evoke and passion series.
Bernafon is another hearing aid company that holds a large stake in the hearing aid market. They have been around since shortly after the second world war.
Remember to Take Your Time
Take your time. Choosing the best hearing aids is going to take time and research.
Go through this checklist to make sure that you feel confident in your decision.
- Seek medical advice and talk to an audiologist for recommendations
- Think about your future needs and wants
- See if the hearing aid comes with a warranty
- Start planning financially for the hearing aid purchase
Beware of hearing aids that claim to "restore your normal hearing". Some companies even say things like the hearing aids "eliminate all background noise". While some hearing aids have the best technology, hearing aids simply can not restore normal hearing or eliminate all background noise.
Make sure that when you are planning for the cost of hearing aids, check with your insurance. Most insurance does not cover hearing aids, however, some private companies do. It is worth having all the information before you make your purchase.
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Would You Like to Save Money?
Remember, buying a hearing aid is a big decision and the process will take time and a lot of consideration. Finding the perfect hearing aid for you comes down to where you are going to use it and what is best going to suit your lifestyle.
As you are aware, hearing aid prices in Canada can be rather high and a big financial investment on your part. Compare rates and save time with Insurdinary. You can make sure you are getting the best out of your insurance at the lowest rates.
Get a quote today and see just how we can help you get paired up with the best prices on the market.