Connect Hearing: 5 Things to Know Before Your First Visit

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If you’ve ever had to buy hearing aids, you know how pricey they can get. 
In this article, I’ll take a close look at Connect Hearing: one of the top hearing aid centers in the country. I’ve recently researched the pricing and process of buying hearing aids from Connect Hearing to get an idea of what you can expect before your first appointment.

What to Know Before Your First Appointment With Connect Hearing

Connect Hearing is a division of Sonova, which is one of the largest worldwide providers of hearing care services and products. At Connect Hearing, you’ll find a great selection of hearing aid types, styles and brands. Additionally, you can book a free hearing exam at your nearest location.

According to a Consumer Reports survey in 2018, Connect Hearing is the second-highest rated hearing aid center just behind Costco. Reviewers gave it above average scores in evaluation, discussion, options, answering questions, courtesy, training, follow-up service and price transparency. Consumer Reports members can see the full ratings and reviews here.

Below, you’ll find detailed information on Connect Hearing including how much you can expect to pay, the types of hearing aids you can expect to see and how to schedule your first visit. 

What Hearing Aids Are Available at Connect Hearing?

At Connect Hearing, you’ll find a variety of hearing aid styles, types and brands available.
  • Behind-the-ear: This type of hearing aid is traditionally the most powerful and rests on the back of the outer ear. 
  • Receiver-in-canal: This open-fit hearing aid features a thin plastic microtube that extends into the ear canal. 
  • In-the-ear: These small hearing aids fit entirely in the ear or ear canal instead of behind it. 
  • Lyric: This type of hearing aid rests entirely inside the canal, which makes it nearly invisible.

To learn more about each type of hearing aid, and additional differences, including analog vs. digital hearing aids or open and closed fittings, visit Connect Hearing's website.

When it comes to specific models, you'll find a huge selection from four major brands. At the time of writing, Connect Hearing offered seven different models by Phonak, five models by Unitron, one model by NovaSense and three models by Audionova. You can click on each brand to learn more about the specific models, styles and features available.

In addition to hearing aids, Connect Hearing also sells hearing aid accessories including batteries and rechargers, phone accessories, apps and remote controls, audio streaming and microphone accessories.

How Much Do Hearing Aids at Connect Hearing Cost?

Unfortunately, it’s hard to estimate what the cost will be for hearing aids, as it varies greatly depending on a variety of factors. 

Like most hearing aid centers, Connect Hearing doesn't list its prices online. Instead, the website states that the cost can range from $499 to $3,000. Of course, that's a huge range. 

While $500 would be on the lowest end of the scale, $3,000 is still not extravagantly high for hearing aids. 

In fact, a 2019 survey by Consumer Reports revealed that respondents typically spent $2,691 out of pocket for a pair of hearing aids. That means that a single hearing aid would cost around $1,345.

Fortunately, your insurance provider may cover some of the costs at Connect Hearing, and the company offers financing.

Still, if the total cost is an important factor for you when it comes to buying hearing aids, know that you may find more competitive prices available at Costco. Even if you aren't already a member, signing up could pay for itself quite quickly.  

"If you're required to be a member to buy hearing aids at a warehouse club price, it is well worth the membership fee to do so," says money expert Clark Howard. "You're not going to get a worse hearing aid or worse service. You're only going to get the difference in price."

What Determines The Cost of a Hearing Aid?

The actual cost of your device will vary depending on a range of factors. According to Connect Hearing, these are a few of the biggest factors that will determine the overall cost of your hearing aids: 

  • Technology level
  • Features
  • Style of hearing aid
  • Size

The website states that there are inexpensive models that provide basic hearing improvement features and functions for a very reasonable price. Of course, a wider range of features and advanced technology are available in premium models for an additional cost. 

Custom in-the-ear hearing aids tend to be more expensive than behind-the-ear models. Also, the upfront cost of rechargeable hearing aids is something to compare against the long-term cost of disposable batteries for other models. 

Using Insurance at Connect Hearing

Connect Hearing accepts most major insurance plans, but coverage can vary based on your specific plan and location.

Your health insurance provider may cover the cost of your hearing aid and other hearing services.. You may also be able to use FSA (Flexible Spending Account) or HSA (Health Savings Account) funds at Connect Hearing. 

It's recommended that you call your nearest hearing aid center and ask for a benefits check. You can use the online store locator to find the phone number of a center near you. When you call, you should have your insurance card with you. Make sure it has your policy and group numbers.

While Medicare doesn't cover hearing aids, according to Connect Hearing, it may cover a hearing exam if your doctor orders one. Additionally, Medicare Part C may provide additional coverage. And Medicaid provides some coverage for hearing aids and related services in several states.

In addition to accepting health insurance and Medicaid, financing is also available at Connect Hearing.

Free Services and Warranty Information

Connect Hearing offers a variety of benefits including free services and products as well as a limited warranty. 

If you think you may be experiencing hearing loss, you can visit Connect Hearing's website to take a free online hearing test. The test takes about three minutes, but you will need a pair of headphones that can connect to your computer, tablet or phone. To begin the test, simply enter your name, phone number and email address online. 

If you think you may need a hearing aid, you can schedule a free in-person hearing exam with a hearing care professional. At the exam, you'll answer a few initial questions about your hearing health and history. Then you'll take a hearing test before discussing the results and receiving any potential recommendations. 

In addition to free hearing tests, Connect Hearing also offers free two-week hearing aid trials. You can test out a hearing aid or hearing aids for up to two weeks at home to see how they work for your day-to-day life. 

If you do make your purchase at Connect Hearing, you'll get three years of free batteries included with your purchase. According to the website, that's a box of 60 batteries for each hearing aid each year. 

Finally, when it comes to coverage, Connect Hearing devices come with a three-year manufacturer repair warranty and three-year loss and damage coverage

How To Book an Appointment

You can schedule an appointment at your nearest Connect Hearing location online or over the phone. 

The easiest way to book an appointment at Connect Hearing is over the phone. You can call 1-888-608-7462 to talk to a hearing consultant and schedule an appointment at your nearest hearing aid center.

To schedule an appointment online, you can fill out the online submission form using your name, phone number and email address. Once you've submitted your information, a hearing consultant will call you to collect general information and answer any questions you may have.

Additionally, you can use the online clinic locator to find a location near you. Simply enter your ZIP code, city and state or click "use my location." 

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From there, you can click “Request Appointment” to fill out the online submission form, or click “Details” for additional information including the clinic’s direct phone number. You can call during store hours to set up an appointment this way as well.

COVID-19 Response

Connect Hearing has implemented a series of safety measures in an effort to reduce the spread of COVD-19. According to the website, these safety measures include the following:

  • Increased strict sanitation practices
  • Stringent use of hand sanitizer and gloves
  • Continuous focus and training on hygiene procedures
  • Updating sick policies to include more flexibility and preventative testing

For more information on how Connect Hearing is addressing COVID-19, visit the website.

Final Thoughts

Overall, Connect Hearing is a convenient and reliable place to order your hearing aids. You’ll find a great selection of hearing aids as well as free services, products and coverage. But the prices may not be the absolute lowest, and you’ll have to visit a Connect Hearing location in-person to order. 
Based on my research, below are a few of the biggest pros and cons of buying hearing aids at Connect Hearing:

Pros: 

  • Free Hearing Test: You can take a free online hearing test or schedule or a free hearing exam with a hearing care professional. The free in-person exam is easy to schedule.
  • Free Hearing Aid Batteries: After you've made your purchase, Connect Hearing says it will send you free batteries for each device for the next three years. That's a great deal! 
  • Selection: You'll find a variety of hearing aid styles from four major brands including Phonak, Unitron, NovaSense and Audionova. At the time of writing, there were 16 different hearing aids to choose from.

Cons: 

  • Pricing: The cost of hearing aids can range from $499 to $3,000 each according to the website. If the total cost is a big factor for you, you may find better deals at Costco's Hearing Aid Center.
  • Ordering: Unfortunately, you can't order hearing aids online from Connect Hearing. You will have to call or schedule an appointment online and visit in person to buy a hearing aid. 
  • Location: Be sure to check and see if there's a Connect Hearing location close by. I wasn't able to find nearby stores in a handful of major cities online.
Before you make your first appointment, take the time to contact your nearest Connect Hearing location and your insurance provider to see if you’ll be eligible for coverage. 
No matter where you ultimately decide to purchase your hearing aid(s), know that you can always schedule a free hearing test at your nearest Connect Hearing location.

Where do you purchase your hearing aids? Let us know in the comments below!

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