There really are no “free” hearing tests. At some point the cost of providing the assessment needs to be recouped. Typically, those who offer “free” hearing tests bundle the cost into the price of the hearing instruments. This makes it difficult for you to see that you are paying for the test.
The confusion arises because there are two types of providers for hearing and hearing instruments, audiologists and hearing aid dealers. The level of care and service varies between the two providers because of the differences in what their license allows them to do.
An audiologist provides audiologic assessment, (hearing evaluation). This is much more than a hearing test. It includes an evaluation of the outer, middle and inner ears and various measures of hearing. Audiologic assessment gives in-depth information about your ears and hearing ability. This in-depth information is the most important part of your evaluation. All of our recommendations are based on the outcome of this evaluation. It is so important that Medicare and other insurances companies typically allow for an annual hearing evaluation for those with hearing difficultly. By billing insurance for the assessment, it can keep the price of hearing instruments down.
Hearing aid dealers or hearing aid specialists are trained to perform a simple hearing test but cannot assess the outer, middle and inner ears. They are not recognized by insurance companies as providers for hearing testing or audiologic assessment and cannot bill your insurance, thus the need to offer a “free” hearing test. The "free" hearing test is then used as an enticement to draw people to the practice.
Give yourself good care. Schedule an appointment with one of our audiologists for an audiologic assessment (hearing evaluation) to have your ears and hearing assessed. From there, we can determine if you need to see a physician or if hearing aids are appropriate.
Image obtained 5-28-14 at: http://theshepherdshook.blogspot.com/