Unbundled hearing care: what does it mean?
At Whitstable Hearing we have developed a unique approach to our hearing aid packages. We have ‘unbundled’ them. And to most this won’t mean anything, but it makes us very unique. Today we will explore why we are ‘unbundling’, and how it benefits you.
Unbundled means separating the components
Have you noticed that hearing aids vary hugely in cost? Literally thousands of pounds difference for the same product. It’s because nearly all hearing care providers use a ‘bundled’ approach. They invoice you for the ‘hearing aid’, but you are really paying for the:
- Hearing aid
- Hearing aid components e.g. charger
- Hearing aid consumables (such as domes and speaker units)
- Clinic opening hours if they have one (some only offer home visits)
- Clinic facilities (such as testing equipment)
- Expertise of the audiologist / hearing aid dispenser
- Hearing aid fitting
- Follow ups (checking settings, cleaning hearing aids)
- Reviews (retesting hearing, reprogramming hearing aids)
- Earwax removal (if included)
If you already have hearing aids you could try asking your provider how the cost was split up. I bet most will have difficulty telling you the exact split. Now I’m not saying a ‘bundled’ approach doesn’t work because it does offer simplicity, but it also means that you could be paying more than you need to, which in the current climate is often a high priority.
You could be paying for other people’s care
Does the following seem fair to you? Client A and client B pay the same amount for their hearing aids. They have a 5-year aftercare package bundled in with the price they paid. Client A gets on very well with the hearing aids and has only had 6 appointments in five years. Client B has really struggled and has had 18 appointments.
The hearing care provider knows that each appointment taken up by the client is costing the business money. As such, they work out the cost of their packages based on the average amount of time used up by all their clients. This means that Client A is subsidising client B. And to me, this has never sat right.
So how do you know if you are getting good value? Are you client A or B? It would be very difficult to tell because every provider is unique in their approach. The only way to know what you are paying for, is for greater transparency by the hearing care providers.
Unbundled means greater transparency
Full transparency helps to build trust which is critical for a successful relationship with your audiologist. At Whitstable Hearing, we itemise every part of the quotation and separate the cost of ‘aftercare’ from the hearing aid. This has several advantages:
- Your upfront cost is lower
- Your replacement cost is lower if lost / stolen
- Your insurance premiums will be lower
- You only pay for the care you need
Upfront cost is lower with us
The upfront cost is significantly lower with us because we have separated the technology from the service. This allows you to make the decision at the end of your trial period of 75 days about whether you would like to join our hearing care club. If not, you would simply pay-as-you-go on your future appointments. If you get on well with hearing aids, this flexibility could save you hundreds if not thousands of pounds on unnecessary aftercare.
Replacement cost is lower with us
Imagine you accidentally lost your hearing aid when out for a walk. You purchased your hearing aids 6 months ago and they came with a 5-year aftercare package. You call your hearing care provider and they say, ‘the replacement cost of the hearing aid is exactly what you paid 6 months ago’.
But hold on a minute, what happened to the 4.5 years of aftercare you paid for that you haven’t used? Is that offset against the replacement aid? Generally, no. Instead, the hearing care provider will just write off those 4.5 years and will then charge you for another 5 years included in the new hearing aid. This adds thousands of pounds on to your insurance claim unnecessarily.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Because we unbundle our pricing, we will only charge you for the bits that need replacing. This has the added benefit of lowering insurance premiums if you make a claim.
Only pay for the care you need with us
We have broken the mould and given you complete control over your aftercare.
You can pay monthly with no commitment or grab some savings by buying a few years upfront. Alternatively, you can say ‘no thanks’ to our aftercare plans and just pay-as-you-go per appointment.
We have a package to suit every need and we have redefined what it means to offer personalised hearing care.
Want to learn more?
If you wish to discuss our unbundled approach further then please do book in for a hearing assessment. We allow an hour and a half for a hearing evaluation which means you will never feel rushed and you’ll be fully informed on what will be best for you.
Please fill out the form and we’ll get in touch with you.
Did we also mention our clinic is right opposite the beach?