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3 Practical Considerations When Choosing an Audiologist
Choosing which audiologist to entrust your hearing care to is an important decision. You should always gather personal reviews and unbiased evidence of each audiologist’s credentials, reputation and quality of service. Although these are the key traits to look for, there are a few practical matters to keep in mind that should have at least some impact on your ultimate decision and will ensure you find an audiologist that meets the needs of both your hearing health and your lifestyle.
1. Is the audiologist’s office conveniently located?
When you find a great audiologist, distance may not seem important You may not mind traveling a greater distance for your first hearing appointment, but what about follow-up appointments? Treatment for hearing loss isn’t completed in just one office visit. It’s a continuing process, especially if you have hearing aids that need fitting, routine adjustments, repairs and spare parts.
Think about how convenient it is to just “pop in” to see your audiologist about a minor problem. Even little things, if left untreated because it’s not convenient to do so, can turn into a major roadblock to your hearing and safety.
2. What kind of payment options do they offer? Do they take your insurance?
A hearing evaluation is usually treated as a medical procedure and covered by most health insurance providers. Be sure to ask your prospective audiologist’s office staff if they accept your medical insurance before you commit. If you’re a veteran, a senior or have other qualifications, you may even be eligible for a free hearing test, so be sure to ask.
Unlike exams, follow-up treatments, hearing devices, therapy, and other aspects of hearing care are often not covered by your insurance provider (although they may qualify as reimbursable medical expenses if you have an FSA or HSA). Hearing aids are usually the largest out-of-pocket expense you might not be prepared for. If you expect to be fitted with hearing aids, ask if the audiologist has payment plan options or helps with manufacturer and tax return rebates.
3. What range of hearing aids and other products do they offer?
A good audiologist should offer a wide range of hearing aid brand and models to choose from, offer trial periods and fair return policies, and offer accessories such as replacement batteries, cleaning tools and hearing protection both online and through the office for your greatest convenience.
As you can see, there are very practical things to consider, besides reputation and service, when you’re choosing an audiologist. Don’t neglect to do your research on all of these aspects of care before committing to the right professional.