Buying hearing aids is a pretty daunting task. Aside from the price and overwhelming selection, there's the challenge of finding a local provider you can trust. Then if you do, they have to offer the hearing aid you want.
Because hearing aid manufacturers offer volume discounts, most independent providers offer only a few brands to keep those volume numbers up. Here's where ZipHearing comes in.
They are essentially a buying group. They advertise a network of several hundred local dispensers and audiologists who have agreed to take referrals from ZipHearing and provide hearing aids for a fitting fee. This has several benefits for all parties involved.
For the end-user, Zip offers the widest variety of hearing aid brands and models I've seen outside of the VA. For non-Veterans to find this in a local shop is just about impossible. It also offers name brand products at about 30% off street price. The only other place I see that kind of price is the big box stores that private label major manufacturers. The downside to that model is they also put software locks on the hearing aids so they can only be programmed at those outlets. Because Zip is saving money on large volumes they can offer unlocked brand name devices that can be programmed by any dispenser.
I see two distinct benefits for the dispenser. ZipHearing is a very well-designed lead generation website with built-in support and customer service. Getting people in the door is the most expensive part of selling hearing aids and the part that most of my colleagues are the least experienced or trained. With ZipHearing, you just wait for the folks to call you after they find what they want on the Zip site. The second benefit is that the local person is no longer in the product business. They are providing a service and being paid a fee by ZipHearing for it. ZipHearing handles all the buying and payments as well as any returns.
Audiology started as a diagnostic and rehabilitation fee-for-service profession. We lost our way a bit when we started retailing hearing aids. Models like ZipHearing get us back to our roots.
The benefits of ZipHearing are pretty obvious to me. They get to help lots of folks hear well indirectly. They were founded by a dispenser and if he's anything like me, the thought of helping at scale by leveraging local resources is very appealing. Plus, based on what they charge and the numbers of units they are likely moving they're making a decent living as well.
Another thing I like is that the ZipHearing model works well for both first-time users as well as experienced folks. Other online discount venues I've seen over the years required a lot of knowledge on the part of the patient. Because ZipHearing uses local folks who take you from soup to nuts in person, anyone can get great care and save quite a few shekels.
One final thing that impressed me about ZipHearing. Their intro video is open captioned. This may not seem like a big deal, and technically it isn't. It is however a huge statement that the folks at ZipHearing understand hearing loss and want to provide access to their message without the viewer needing to click anything to enable access. It's a small thing, but it's very important to hard of hearing people and made a very good impression on me.
I'd give the site a look-see and if there is a local dispenser in your area and give it a shot.
Call ZipHearing and provide your address. They’ll let you know who your local provider is. You’ll call that provider to make an appointment for a hearing aid consultation. If you decide to buy hearing aids, your provider will facilitate an order at a significant discount.
All providers in ZipHearing’s network are licensed Audiologists or Hearing Instrument Specialists. ZipHearing’s site says they only work with professionals that are highly rated by their customers. If you relocate, ZipHearing will set you up with a new local professional. ZipHearing has more than 500 local provider partners.
First off, most insurance companies do not provide hearing aid coverage or only provide coverage vs. the Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price, which tends to be much a much higher price than ZipHearing’s prices. ZipHearing does not accept insurance directly, but if your insurance has direct reimbursement, you can send your bill to your insurance and receive a check for your benefit.
Yes, ZipHearing accepts most major credit cards and also has financing options through CareCredit. Surprisingly, they also accept checks.
ZipHearing has a wide selection and carries all types of hearing aids from Phonak, Starkey, Oticon, Widex, Signia, and Resound.
ZipHearing is considered “excellent” by Trustpilot with 394 reviews, and 95% of customers rating the service as excellent. Their overall score is 4.9 out of 5. The Better Business Bureau has 23 customer ratings for ZipHearing with an overall score of 4.5 out of 5. ZipHearing as an A+ BBB rating and accreditation.
Yes, ZipHearing is headquartered in San Diego, California, and was established in 2014. Their founder, Jeff Hall, is a Hearing Instrument Specialist.
No. ZipHearing will tell you if they have a provider near you on their website, but will not disclose the provider unless you call them. This is presumably because ZipHearing receives a referral fee for providing business to local dispensers.
Yes, for many hearing aids ZipHearing shows prices on its website so you can compare directly to other manufacturers or sites. For some hearing aids, due to manufacturer restrictions, ZipHearing requires you to chat or call a customer service representative.
Yes, ZipHearing providers for repairs, remakes, cleaning services and extended warranties.