Thursday, 01 August 2019

The Benefits of Leasing or Buying Hearing Devices

Posted in Insights from the Outside

By Randy Baldwin, Vice President of Marketing for Hearing at CareCredit

Hearing device technology continues to advance at a spectacular rate. As products and related items like pre and post fittings, warranties, batteries and follow-up appointments become more expensive, payment options have become increasingly important. To address this concern, some practices have begun to give patients the opportunity to lease hearing devices. Let’s take a closer look at this option and see how it compares to the more traditional approach of buying technology.

The decision to buy or lease hearing devices may seem simple. Would a patient rather continually have the newest technology along with an ongoing monthly payment or pay for their devices and own them outright? Leasing allows patients to wear hearing devices for a fixed period of time (usually three to four years) while making monthly payments until the lease expires. Not unlike leasing an automobile, one of the biggest benefits of leasing hearing devices is that it gives patients an opportunity to continuously wear the newest technology as hearing aid manufacturers come up with new designs, features and enhancements over the years.

However, leasing may not be for everyone. Since the devices the patient will be wearing actually belong to someone else (the leasing company), the owners want to be assured that the patient will make payments on time. Therefore, the credit worthiness standards tend to be higher in general for leases. So, if a patient has a troubled credit history they may have problems getting approved for a hearing device leasing program.

Also, when a patient leases, they are basically paying to use the hearing devices. Once the lease is over, the patient turns in the technology and has nothing to show for their money. They own nothing. However, when a patient buys the devices, obviously they own the technology. They can use the hearing devices for as long as they work or if they choose, they can upgrade to newer devices and keep the others as a spare pair. While leasing allows patients to get a new pair of devices every few years, those purchasing hearing aids out right will likely hold on to their devices for much longer — until they no longer meet their needs or they want to invest in new technology. With 5.7 years the average life expectancy of a hearing device (7+ years with better technology), patients who buy their devices outright should enjoy several years of payment-free ownership before they need to buy new devices.

While many patients may not be in a position to pay for their devices in one lump sum, providing additional payment options like the CareCredit healthcare credit card gives patients the best of both worlds — the opportunity to pay over time while still ultimately owning the devices in which they’ve invested their money. If special financing is available and the patient plans on getting the most out of their devices, buying may be a better option. While patients also make monthly payments with a solution like CareCredit, eventually the devices are paid off and patients no longer have the expense of a monthly payment.


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