Can You Program the Discounted Hearing Aid That Was Mailed to Me by My Insurance?

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Question: My health insurance plan offers a hearing aid at a discounted price that they will mail to me. If I get this aid, can you set it?

Answer: Some insurance companies have made the controversial entry into the hearing aid world by offering direct-to-consumer hearing aids at discounted prices. Members are to obtain a hearing test on their own and send in results. The insurer will then preset their aid and mail it to the member. Several states ban this practice. Follow up care and maintenance is either nonexistent or involves costly fees, shipping charges, and being without your aids. Additionally, we cannot program it for you as it has proprietary software. The adjustment to wearing hearing instruments should include patient counseling, skilled fitting and programming, and convenient routine maintenance. As someone has said, “You wouldn’t fit a prosthesis by mail, would you?”