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I finally took the decision and went to a hearing aid company. I cope OK most of the time but recently went to a funeral and could hardly hear any of what was said.

I thought it was possible to get a free hearing aid though of course the company tried to sell me ones costing from 2000 upwards, then there's 450 for insurance, a fee for a battery charger (they say batteries cost 500 a year so rechargeables are cheaper). 450 for insurance, 300 for 'accessories'. After deducting the health system's 480 the total 4200! Or 87.50 monthly, for 4 years. I will get a bit from the mutual, to be contacted, but it's usually only 2-600.

The 'free' one, disparaged by the woman I saw, works out as 1420. I'm confused! I asked the ENT man if expensive aids are much better than the free ones and he said ' Not really, maybe a bit better'. You get a 30 day free trial so I asked to try the 'free' one for 2 weeks and then the dear one, so I could compare.

I feel pressured to spend more than I want to. I could manage it, but it would make a big hole in my bank account. Any thoughts?

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All I can say is that a friend here got a pair recently (the dog chewed her old one!), and from memory she paid 240 (ish) for the insurance ... and that was it. I can check what make she got if you want.  She's had them less than a month .. I saw her a day or two later and she could hear well, some slight discomfort in getting used to them ..

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After computer printer ink, hearing aids are the biggest con on our planet.

The expensive ones do work better and have features like Bluetooth so they can connect to mobile or home phones, tv etc with the relevant equipment.

They also cancel background noise better.

My Mother has Unitron hearing aids, Canadian but the same as the European ones but lower price. Rechargeable base to plug into so no more batteries but less than they quoted you by £2200 so they are definitely taking the mickey. You can buy 2nd hand but you would need to have someone make an ear mold to fit and adjust the frequency to suit but still a bloody closed shop con. The smaller the more cost. The biggest difference is the hearing aids use a thin wire to connect to the amplifier and not a plastic tube as with the old ones.

Worth trying the earbuds like Bose that are very good and about £400.
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I have been let down by the NHS and ripped off by private hearing aid sellers for 40 years. I now use Bose HeaRphones which work better (for my hearing loss) than any hearing aids I have tried. Cost a few hundred pounds rather than the thousands I have spent over the years on useless aids.

But of course each individual is different. What works for me might not be good for others.

I have mentioned Bose before on here but I promise I have no connection with the company!

I also find translation apps very useful, both for English voices and French, although some of the results can be amusing. French friends looking over my shoulder at my phone find them hilarious.
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When I met my husband he was 24 and had hearing problems then.

No one could do a thing and boy did I insist over the years, the NHS, no. AND the french health service, and remember we were in our late twenties when we moved to France, NOT A THING!

I shall add that my husband is a musician too!

And me, I kept plugging away, surely to goodness there will be something these days, and there never was.

We moved back to the UK and as all things digital had started I really did start getting on to him to see his Doctor and see if things had changed. He did and about 10 years ago, he got his first digital ones and they helped. He is on his forth pair and things are better. AND all these digital hearing aids have been free since we moved back.

My Dad's youngest sister always had hearing aids that worked from being a young woman, she died in her early 90's.

Just goes to show that everyone is different, and I would never say that we were let down when there was SFA over all those years, just not everything works for everyone with such delicate things as ears.

I had thought that hearing aids were going to be 'free' in France, didn't Macron say they would?

I know a few years ago there was quite a long thread started by a poster about hearing aids and how much they would cost. I believe that there was some sort of subvention then which helped towards the cost.

Good for you AZ if you have things that work now, maybe audiologists have simply not been honest with you about  what was available that would work for you, or rather not work for you, as they were with my husband. And each time over 35 years when there was nothing they could do, I was very disappointed. His hearing was damaged when he was in his teens, working down the pit.

In the UK work related hearing damage was being compensated, but not for him, he would have had to have more years than his apprenticeship to count........ and he got out as soon as he had finished his apprenticeship.

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I am surprised that Bose have discontinued with it. The feedback was generally very positive.

As mentioned, others have entered this market, including Alango BeHear hearphones which are competitively priced. The technology is very impressive, allowing you to carry out your own detailed assessment via their app and to program the device accordingly. Unfortunately, the BeHear is not suitable for my low frequency (reverse slope) loss as, despite the programming feature, it has a definite bias towards boosting high frequencies, the exact opposite of what I need. This no doubt helps people with the more common high frequency loss to pick up voices but for me it makes everything sound raspy/metallic. I am currently communicating with Alango to see if I can encourage them with updates to cater for people with my type of loss.

Interestingly, when I spoke to my hearing aid consultant about the Bose hearphones, he told me in confidence that his (large national) company was quite worried about the impact these devices were going to have on hearing aid sales and they were looking to enter the market themselves.
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Blodwyn: did you look at the page on Ameli about reimbursement

Assuré | Remboursements | Ce qui est remboursé | Optique et audition | Aides auditives : quelle prise en charge ?

Did the hearing aid company provide you with a quote on the official form? https://www.ameli.fr/sites/default/files/Documents/346585/document/devis_normalise_dappareillage_auditif.pdf
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Thanks for the responses. The Ameli form doesn't mention how much is reimbursed, but the devi for the 'free' hearing aid and the expensive one both state 480 euros. Not much, considering the total cost.

I don't know what is essential and what is not. They say a battery charger is cheaper than buying batteries but a friend says batteries can are cheaper online.

It's 450 for a Carte Audika which gives 60 back on the charger. A maintenance kit is 218 but 'offert'. I have no idea what the 450 for 'Accessoires' is, and whether I need them or could get cheaper elsewhere. It all seems designed to confuse!
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Thats good news Alan that the audiologist is worried because its way passed the time these over charging frauds were brought down a few pegs. They wear white coats so people will be taken in by them but just like the BS from in the reading glasses market people see through them (pun used to max)

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Assuming you have a prescription, the 480€ (240€ per hearing aid device) is the maximum payment by social security (60% of a base of 400€).

For a Class 1 device there should also be a top-up payment by your mutuelle. So for Class 1 devices costing up to a maximum of 950€ per device will be free (and you are allowed up to two devices!)

For class 2 devices the social security payment is still 240€ per device. Any top-up payment by your mutuelle depends on your contract with them and you would probably need to send the standardised devis to them to get agreement of their payment.

This graphic gives a good explanation of the way the refunds are calculated

https://tinyurl.com/ye6aa7wt or https://www.vivason.fr/sites/default/files/udata/infographie_reste_a_charge_zero_audioprothese_vivason.pdf

There are also some ongoing refunds for batteries, the number depending on the battery requirements of the hearing aid model

https://tinyurl.com/yznh2c5v or


I found this supplier page which gives their 100% reimbursed models

https://tinyurl.com/yznh2c5v or https://www.ideal-audition.fr/appareil-auditif/gamme/economique_des_500_euros
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It was admittedly some years ago but I had an experience which illustrates Theiere's point.

A large national hearing aid dispenser offered free trials of their aids at a Cheltenham hotel. After carrying out a routine hearing test and explaining the marvellous benefits of some very expensive aids, the demonstrator went through a test exercise to prove how good they were.

He began by reading out (mumbling) some text with his mouth hidden by a card (so that I couldn't lip read). This was without the new aids which he had handed to me to hold, together with the batteries. Not surprisingly, I understood very little.

He then repeated the exercise after fitting his super dooper aids. This time I heard every word.

When I said he had spoken much louder and more clearly the second time, he assured me that both deliveries had been identical. The difference was due to the superior hearing aids.

I said that was odd as I was still holding the batteries for the aids which weren't even turned on.
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[quote user="Alan Zoff"]

I said that was odd as I was still holding the batteries for the aids which weren't even turned on.[/quote]

Boom, boom.
You could say his test fell on deaf ears, either way.

[quote user="Blodwyn"]I feel pressured to spend more than I want to. I could manage it, but

it would make a big hole in my bank account. Any thoughts?


I've noticed Lidl have aids occasionally. €19.99.

Nothing to lose at that price.

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Judith, I would certainly like to know more about your friend's hearing aid.

Pomme, thank you for the info. Audika said they would have to write to the mutuelle company to find what they would contribute. Odd, as when I got glasses, the optician went online and found out. I phoned the insurance company, who said they would pay 600. They also said there is 'free' which isn't, and actually free and suggested I send them the devis.

I just feel I'm being pushed into paying a lot!

Alan Zoff - great story! Reminds me of a friend and the call from 'Microsoft' saying her computer needed sorting. She listened for a while and said yes, right, etc. Then pointed out she didn't have a computer.

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  • 2 weeks later...

They say "what goes around, comes around".  On May 3rd, the aid I referred to above, is back at Lidl and still only €19.99  HERE

I imagine not everyone has cash to splash on health aids and this would afford someone in need of hearing assistance an opportunity to test the effectiveness of an aid at a realistic price before contemplating lining the pockets of high street sharks.

If I ever became in need of the use of an aid I would certainly give the Lidl offering a trial run to enable me to initially test run my requirements before allowing myself to be ultimately ripped off by these shysters.

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Hi Blodwyn,
Had a chat to my hearing aid friend just on Friday .. she started with the lowest priced ones, at about 1000, from memory, and she paid something over 200 for insurance because the dog ate the old one and she decided it was worth it.  Without the insurance it would have been free.  She had to go back for a minor adjustment of fit, he shaved a tiny bit off she said, and they are perfect (or as good as she needs, if she wears both (only one ear is very bad) she finds it too loud, though she said for a quiet place say a concert hall she might well wear both.

Out of interest she did ask about the more expensive ones .. interestingly they would  offer much lower reductions, and not give very much  more aid - she tested one .. and the specialist implied it was not needed etc. Memory was the next one up in price was 3000.

So I should try again, and see how you get on with the cheapest ones first ... and with luck that will give you the necessary "free" as it were.  If they are not willing to let you try them out .. I would go somewhere else.  I am not sure if the aids were supplied by the clinic who tested her, or not, sorry, forgot to ask that bit!

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[quote user="Théière"]As one door closes (bose) sure someone will open a window!


Adjustable by yourself
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I saw Lidl had hearing aids, wish they'd been on sale a few wees ago!  Worth a try at that price, though they look quite big in the picture, not easy to hide.

I went along on Thursday and was told the 1400 euro free ones would be free once the mutuelle let them know their contribution. How did they know it would be 1400?

I assumed I'd get the free ones to try first, then I would see how much better the expensive ones were. But I was given the expensive ones, which come with a charger instead of needing batteries. They were programmed by computer.   At first I noticed a difference - I never heard the freezers in Lidl humming before.  Next day it was less obvious.  Late in the evening I found I only had one hearing aid!  I've looked everywhere with no success.

I paid 40 euros insurance for the trial, so I hope they pay up because the initial price was 1999 euros.  There are so many electronic items these days, at much lower prices, so I don't understand how they can charge so much.

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Oh Blodwyn, what a tale of woe. I thought I would relate my purchase. I went to Audition Sante and asked for the "free" pair that are covered by Amelie and my mutual. They still went through the "benefits" of more expensive ones like no batteries (I always carry spare batteries in case the battery runs out), bluetooth so I could directly connect to my tv and phone (no thanks). After several no thank you I ordered those covered by amelie. 950 euros each and came with 12 batteries, a bottle of cleaner and a plug in steriliser. In a large zip up case. Absolutely no money changed hands and I am delighted with the quality of the product! That was 12th April this year. I love being able to hear birds singing again since then.
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Blodwyn wrote the following post at 26 Apr 2021 0:23:

I assumed I'd get the free ones to try first, then I would see how much better the expensive ones were.

Unless you insist otherwise, as Rock did, this is what most hearing-aid sellers do .. but a trial is a trial and, once you sort out the lost hearing-aid problem you can insist on trying the 'free' ones.

It is very likely that you will have to pay a sum towards the lost aid, even tho you have insurance.

Wearing aids (my OH does) needs some getting used to .. they can get lost quite easily .. tangled up in jumpers or scarves or collars. It can be an expensive business.

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I was hoping the 40 euros for

30 days would cover me, but probably not.  These things are so easy to

lose.  I wasn't wearing a mask but had glasses, earrings and a

jacket. With a mask as well it would get complicated.  If it's in the

house, it's well hidden because I've looked under furniture, in

drawers etc.   I'm pretty sure I didn't go far from the house but o
utside it's pretty well impossible with a lot of grass and

little stones. My neighbour has been looking too.

One was found in the church, but I hadn't been there, so unless someone found it and took it there, it can't be mine!  I hate pressure sales and of course can't take anyone with me.  The thing is, I manage well most of the time.  Today I could hear birds singing, talk to a friend, and to my French neighbour, no problem.  It's just certain situations where I struggle to hear, especially French people with strong accents and wearing masks.  After comments here I'm inclined to go for the free one.

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