Life is full of trade-offs. You might pay someone to mow the lawn, so you don’t have to do it yourself. It was worth it to you to save some time and sweat by paying someone else.
Then you go to the grocery store. You choose to buy a generic brand. In this case, you’d rather save 60 cents or so. That savings really adds up over the course of a trip or a lifetime.
These little trade-offs make a lot of sense. As a financially savvy person, you’re continually making small decisions like this that impact how you spend your time and money.
But having to pay $16,000 just to avoid wearing your hearing aid? That one isn’t so logical. Here’s why.
How Not Wearing Your Hearing Aid May Costs You $16,000
Some decisions are easier to make than others because you can see how much something will cost you in advance. In other cases, it’s not so clear. You end up losing a lot of money simply because you didn’t know it would cost you.
In the case of hearing loss, however, we have some convincing scientific data that demonstrates the true cost of not wearing your hearing aid.
The True Cost of Not Wearing a Hearing Aid
A University of Michigan study recently published in the well-respected medical journal JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) studied over 1,300 people ages 65-85 with severe hearing loss. Around 45% of the participants regularly wore a hearing aid.
They found that those who didn’t wear a hearing aid had a statistically significant increased risk of:
- Going to the ER and going more often
- Being admitted into the hospital
- Having to stay more days into the hospital
- Being re-admitted after discharge
- Having a serious fall
They also noted that people who didn’t wear their hearing aids saw their doctor less frequently for routine checkups. The researchers believe that the lack of a hearing aid made it harder to attend a visit.
Let’s break these costs down.
More Frequent ER Visits
The national average for 1 ER visit is around $1,200. This doesn’t include any additional scans, testing or treatments. A CNBC report found an average of $12,000 paid by patients for these things.
If you add an ambulance ride onto that, the bill could jump by another $1,200.
Even when someone else, like an insurance company or the government, pays the tab, it’s still a hefty expense, and that money doesn’t come from thin air.
More Likely to Be Admitted
If you’re admitted to a hospital, it costs a minimum of $100/day. This easily amounts to $10’s of thousands more.
We’re easily up over $16,000, but it doesn’t end there.
Greater Risk of Infection/Longer Hospital Stays
According to the CDC, for every 25 patients admitted into the hospital, one will develop a severe infection contracted while in the hospital. Among those 65+ and those with a compromised immune system, the risk is much higher.
This can quickly turn what should be a 3-day stay into weeks. Wearing your hearing aid can significantly reduce your chances of these miserable, lengthy stays.
Greater Fall Risk
Researchers at John’s Hopkins found that those with severe hearing loss who don’t wear their hearing aid are 140% more likely to have a serious fall. Hip and femur (upper leg) fractures are the most common result. More frightening, skull fractures are not uncommon.
These are some of the most painful and costly hospital stays. Not only will a person spend time in the hospital. They’ll likely have inpatient and outpatient rehab for months afterward.
The average cost for hospitalization due to a fall is over $30,000 according to the CDC. As we age, the price goes up because it takes longer to heal, making this a conservative estimate.
The Cost of a Hearing Aid
Let’s look at the cost of a hearing aid in comparison. A hearing aid costs between $1,500 and $7,000. It will last up to 7 years and some models last longer.
Wear your hearing aid to reduce costly medical care significantly. At the same time, live a more quality life with your hearing restored. Have you been waiting to get your hearing test? It’s time to find an audiologist in your area.