"Free" rarely really is free. Those who offer free hearing tests have to cover this cost one way or another. Usually the cost of testing is bundled into the price of the hearing aids. It is hard to see the added cost since it is difficult to price compare hearing aids from one place to another.
Often, hearing aid dealers offer “free” hearing tests because they cannot be reimbursed by your insurance company. Bundling the costs helps them re-coop the expense of the equipment and their time. Usually, an audiologist will be reimbursed by your insurance company. Allowing the insurance company to pick up even this expense helps to keep the cost of the hearing aids down.
More importantly, the testing an audiologist performs is more thorough and complete. A hearing aid dealer can measure hearing. An audiologist can perform an audiologic assessment. Audiologic assessment includes the measurement of hearing, and evaluation of middle and inner ear function. This provides in-depth information about your ears as well as your hearing. It determines whether you may have medical problem and need to see a physician or if you need hearing aids. If you need hearing aids, this test is used to adjust your hearings and impacts your success with hearing aids.
Another point of confusion is the offer of a free hearing screening. Hearing screening does not take the place of a diagnostic evaluation. A true hearing screening offers very little information about hearing. It simply says whether or not you need a diagnostic evaluation. Hearing screenings are often offered at places such as health fairs or senior centers. If you have a screening and do not pass, an audiologic evaluation is needed.
Give yourself good care this year. Schedule an appointment with an audiologist.
Picture obtained 12-20-13 at: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://algetler.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/free-sign.gif&imgrefurl=http://algetler.com/last-call-for-a-free-digital-workshop/&h=309&w=388&sz=16&tbnid=IsU3R1GjtyLyAM:&tbnh=90&tbnw=113&zoom=1&usg=__TMpSozGVB_mLGUl3nFuVK48LpKU=&docid=H0BjiymUSbkd5M&sa=X&ei=mGq0UtiXIur7yAG2sICYDA&ved=0CC0Q9QEwAA