How Much Do Hearing Aids Cost in Ontario?
According to a CBC News report, digital hearing aids in Canada can cost anywhere from $1,500 to more than $8,000. Search online and you’ll get other ranges such as “$500 to $1,500,” “just shy of $1,000 on up to more than $4,000” and “about $2,000 per unit.”
So, why does the average cost of hearing aids vary so much, even across Ontario or locally in Ottawa?
The range varies based on factors such as your individual hearing condition (mild, moderate, severe, profound), whether one or two hearing aids are required, features and functionality, battery type, cosmetic preferences, the brand or model, and a few other factors.
Your hearing device also needs to meet your communication abilities, listening needs and lifestyle. The level of technology can vary between entry-level, mid-range and advanced—from volume, noise and telephone listening controls to digital signal processing, feedback cancellation, directional microphones, and Bluetooth wireless accessories.
How to Afford Better Hearing
Although OHIP does not cover the cost of hearing devices, there are several options to make this purchase much more affordable.
If you are an Ontario resident with a valid Ontario health card, the Ministry of Health’s Assistive Devices Program will pay eligible applicants 75% of the cost of hearing aids up to a maximum of $500 for each type of aid or up to a maximum of $1,350 per FM receiver system ( Is this what we refer to as an amplifier?)
Other forms of public funding include:
- Health Canada (Non-Insured Health Benefits)
- Ontario Disability and Support Program
- Workplace Safety and Insurance Board of Ontario
- Veterans Affairs Canada
Hearing centres may also offer financial assistance towards the purchase of new hearing aids—such as an interest-free financing program with no payments for the first year. Be sure to ask about special offers and promotions or sign up for a newsletter so you can be made aware of upcoming discounts.
Double check that you don’t already have private insurance that covers some or all of the cost of hearing aids. A helpful hearing centre will assist you in completing insurance forms. Savings can be deducted directly from the cost, so you only need to pay the difference rather than waiting around for reimbursement.
Consider asking about fee structures before you choose an audiologist. Is their dispensing fee the sole charge above and beyond the cost of the hearing instrument, or will you be asked to pay additional charges such as impression fees, testing fees, warranty fees, and service plans?
If your hearing loss is left untreated, are you missing parts of conversations? Particularly if your hearing loss has been gradual, have you found yourself tuning out or feeling disconnected? Are you avoiding phone calls or noisy restaurants? How is this impacting your work? Your safety on a busy street? Your overall quality of life?