Taking the step to have your hearing tested and evaluated by a hearing healthcare professional is an important decision that will affect your life and health for years to come. Just as you should weigh carefully which provider you choose, making sure they’re credentialed and reputable, it’s important to take time and care when selecting hearing aids. Use these questions to guide you in the right direction.

1. Is the hearing aid being recommended to you (or that you’re interested in) right for your hearing needs and lifestyle? 

If you’ve chosen a quality hearing healthcare professional, they will explain your audiogram and other tests and recommend types and models of hearing aids based on their experience of what works best for your type of hearing loss. Don’t choose a hearing aid that seems like a biased recommendation, or solely based on its aesthetics or price. Aesthetic quality is a consideration, and your budget is important to keep in mind, but your hearing needs are the priority.

2. Is there a trial period after purchase? Are there un-refundable fees if you return the hearing aids? 

Most hearing healthcare professionals allow you to test your new hearing aids for roughly 30 days with the choice to return them if you’re not completely satisfied. Make sure you know the exact trial period, and ask about any fees, such as the typical non-refundable portion that covers your consultation.

3. Does your hearing healthcare provider accept insurance? Are there other payment options?

Most hearing clinics accept certain types of medical insurance to cover the office fees, but few insurance companies will cover the entire cost of hearing aids. However, since many patients are unable to pay for such a major expense up front, most hearing healthcare providers will offer payment plans and access to financial assistance programs you may qualify for. Take advantage of any resources that will help you afford the hearing instruments you need.

4. What is the warranty period and follow-up care schedule?

Hearing aids generally come with a manufacturer-provided warranty for up to three years that covers damages and even full replacement. Make sure to read your warranty agreement before signing on the purchase. In addition, many hearing healthcare professionals will offer lifetime troubleshooting, cleaning, routine maintenance and adjustments as needed, often for free or a minimal cost.

Asking yourself these questions as you carefully choose a hearing healthcare professional and hearing aids will ensure you receive the best possible care and listening devices for your needs and circumstances.