Audiologists at Kaiser

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  • Hearing Aids from Kaiser?

    (5 replies)

    My hearing aids are over 10 years old and I noticed that one seems to have stopped working so I'm looking to find a new, more up-to-date pair but don't know where to go. When I got my first pair, I ended up getting an audiology appointment at one place and the devices at another, and the whole process seemed very confusing as the aids came with a warranty but the vendor changed ownership multiple times. I also had to try different styles before finding one that was not painful. It's not clear to me whether different providers carry different models--at the time it seemed challenging to know the full range of options/prices/service so as to be able to make an informed decision.

    I now have Kaiser health insurance and would appreciate hearing about whether that is a good option. I would love to hear about the experiences of others, both good and bad, and all advice and suggestions would be welcome.

    Thank you.

    I had a great experience at the Kaiser hearing aid center. I saw Dr. fornero and found her empathetic and a good listener. She worked closely with me to help me find the right hearing aid and helped adjust it after I got it. The front desk woman made an extremely rude comment to me one day that left me reeling though: I got my appointment wrong for the day I was supposed to pick up my hearing aid and the front desk woman made a really rude comment about how I could enjoy one more weekend of silence (or something like that) since I wasn't scheduled to pick it up till next week. I was appalled, and even said out loud to her "that wasn't funny. Not even a little bit". I had been having a really hard time with losing my hearing and that comment stung. 

    Well...since no hearing aid costs are covered by any type of insurance- it really does not matter where you get 'em; they even sell them at Costco. However, I suggest that you start the process with your Kaiser PCP and get a referral for an audiological eval and then an apptmt with an Audiologist there. This will help you more than anything. My son has moderate-severe deafness in both ears so we have been using aids for many years, and we are Kaiser insured. The thing is, there are so so so many kinds of aids right now, that you could waste your money on the wrong kind for you and be stuck with it. My son's aids cost $1,000 each. We did not want to make a mistake. I find the Kaiser Audiologists to be great, and very honest. They are not trying to sell or upsell aids. If the Costco aid would have been right for us, our Audiologist would have told us to buy it. It is also great to have them to clean and adjust the aid on a yearly basis, and for my son, since his ear is still growing, he needs new molds for the ear canal part every so often. Good luck to you! The hearing aid is rapidly changing with all of the digital advances and the Audiologists will really help you to sort out all of the options based upon your specific hearing needs.

    From my experience with knowing children who got hearing aids through Kaiser (which could be totally different than adults), it's extremely unlikely and maybe impossible to have a plan that covers the cost of the hearing aids. However, you could get aids through them and their audiologists will fit and program them. You probably want to call the audiology department directly and ask about their selection and member services to see what your plan covers

    Hi Anon,

    Don't have specific advice for or against Kaiser. I would check out Costco (not Cosco) for price. They are probably limited in styles but I hear they have good pricing.

    Let us know what you wind up doing.

    My experience with Kaiser Hearing Center in Oakland has been very good. I don't know if I have a particularly good Kaiser plan, but I've never had to pay for any visits or services there, and only had to pay $50 of the $1050 for my hearing aid. They took a mold of my ear to make the actual hearing aid, and then shaved off bits where it was bugging me, to really make it a comfortable fit. I feel welcomed to come in whenever something is wrong with my hearing aid, or I need more wax filters, or for annual hearing tests. Of all the Kaiser departments I have interacted with, this one has been the easiest and most pleasant to deal with.