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JLeslie's avatar

What did you think about what Biden said about hearing aids and warranty protections?

Asked by JLeslie (65323points) January 26th, 2022 from iPhone

I caught some of Biden said a couple of days during his mid-morning address. I liked a lot of what he said.

Hearing aids over the counter (OTC) to bring down the cost. For years I have thought hearing aids were gouging prices. From what I understand they usually need to be fitted and adjusted, so I’m not sure how that all works, but I like that someone is focusing on more accessibility (better pricing) for those who need the devices. I especially like that he is addressing pricing and not just having insurance companies or the government simply pay the crazy high prices. This will be an attempt to bring competition to what to me has always seemed like collusion among hearing aid manufactures or those who sell them. I’m not sure exactly where the collusion lies.

He also talked about getting a repair not voiding a warranty. That companies are using these clauses to disallow competition from doing repairs, or even from you repairing something yourself, and as he stated this limits competition, and is not capitalism working for the people.

Both sound good to me. I didn’t catch much else.

Yes, I heard him call a reporter stupid, or whatever, and he was totally wrong to say that. This status is not about that, and I already agree, so you don’t need to bring it up again.

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14 Answers

rebbel's avatar

I recently read that some big tech companies (Apple, Google, some headphones manufacturers) are busy with hearing aids technology to be added in/to their buds.
That way the price would go down automatically (due to competition).
So I don’t know if Biden had this info present when he said what he said.
Then again, about pricing, my mom had some fitted a couple of weeks ago, and I think she paid around €300 ($350ish).
Thats almost as much as some pricey ear buds.
Then again again, my father paid around €700, a couple of years ago…

Blackwater_Park's avatar

There are a lot of “medical” devices that should be over the counter like CPAP machines. At least you can go buy a blood pressure monitor and glucose meter without getting an expensive permission slip.

ragingloli's avatar

@rebbel
Well, according to this, it is more between 1000$ to 6000$, in the colonies.

JLeslie's avatar

^^That is correct.

ragingloli's avatar

Not to brag, but here, the basic models are fully covered by health insurance.
And even the top of the line models seem to top out at around 2000.
https://www.meinhoergeraet.de/de/p13/hoergeraete-preise

janbb's avatar

@ragingloli Oh we know, you have much better healthcare than we in the colonies do!

rebbel's avatar

Oh wow, @ragingloli, that’s crazy…., thousands of dollars.
Here you pay 25% of the total cost, plus your deductible that you pay every year (or the remaining amount of said deductible).
Currently the deductible for everybody (health insurance) is €385 ($430ish) per year.

janbb's avatar

@ragingloli Just want to add, my comment was in no way sarcasm. You do!

filmfann's avatar

My wife was born profoundly deaf, rather than becoming hard of hearing due to age. We have spent thousands n hearing aids over the years. Several years ago, my wife got Cochlear implants, which are blessings.
Getting hearing aids fixed and adjusted by repair shops other than the manufacturer/provider makes sense, especially considering that you can now get your Apple phones worked on at non-Apple shops.

smudges's avatar

I paid $600 for mine, and they are damn worth it. If I had spent a couple hundred more they could do everything except tell me what I should have for dinner. Seriously, if I had mine programmed, they would contact a person of my choice and let them know that I’ve fallen. The more expensive ones have all kinds of medical stuff they can do. They’re so much more than hearing aids. I can adjust them myself for crowds, wind, etc; they’re programmed through my phone and I can place my phone near my tv or other audio device and hear it through my aids so the device doesn’t have to be turned way up. They have almost as much stuff as an iphone. I can’t remember it all, but I believe they’ll tell you your heart rate, blood pressure, etc. And you can’t even see them, and they come in 5 or 6 colors to sort of match your hair!

I can’t complain about the price for what I’m getting. However…I’m all for pricing competition!

smudges's avatar

^^ Yeah…they ain’t your grampa’s hearing aids anymore!

JLeslie's avatar

@smudges Remind me where you live. Are you in the US?

smudges's avatar

^^Yes, Nebraska. I’d be happy to pass on info about the company if you’re interested.

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