When I first called Cliff's usual hearing aid place, they scheduled his appointment for two weeks from the day I called. Then, when he got his hearing tested and they made another appointment "to get him fitted" for the hearing aid, it was another two weeks of waiting. At this point we had paid no money, because the hearing test costs nothing... oh wait, we paid $40 for the doctor to check him out and see if there was any visible problem with his inner ear, because that was the deductible with our insurance. Cliff would be allowed a trial period in which to decide if the hearing aid was helping him enough to keep it; if he was dissatisfied with it, he could get all his money back except for $250.
I did an entry about selling my calves the other day, and mentioned that they brought in enough money to mostly pay for Cliff's hearing aid, which was going to cost $1,850. A local Facebook friend read the blog entry and suggested maybe hearing aids would be cheaper at Costco. Since we had such a long time to wait, and nobody charges for the hearing test, I said, "Why not?"
I called them on Monday and they made Cliff an appointment for Tuesday, the very next day. Wow! Yesterday Cliff, Cora, and I went to Costco and he was told to come in Thursday... tomorrow!... and get his hearing aid. Oh, and the cost was $1,299. So now I can say the calves not only paid for the hearing aid, but left us with a few bucks extra. There are cheaper hearing aids you can get there, but they are of the in-the-ear variety. That's the kind Cliff had the very first time, and he much prefers the other variety.
Oh, and at Costco there is a money-back guarantee for the entire amount (they don't keep $250 like the other place does), plus coverage for a year if it's lost or damaged (!!!) and three years for damage only. I think I have this right, but I can't find the paperwork right now. After Cliff wakes up, I'll change the information if I need to.
Our Costco membership costs us nothing, since a wonderful former co-worker put us on her family business membership.
We have kept our paid Sam's Club membership ONLY because that's the only place we can get T-shirts and socks that Cliff likes. I've looked for Kirkland brand T-shirts and socks and have only found name brands. Otherwise, if they had those items and they were up to the standards of the ones we get at Sam's Club, we would do away entirely with the Sam's membership.
If you have a Costco card, take full advantage and check out their optical and hearing aid departments.
I will add this about the optical: This year we have insurance that covers glasses at a local vision center, so Cliff got his glasses there. They would have cost $20, but the scratch-resistant feature cost $60. If he had wanted no-line bifocals, they would have taken the cost up to $200. At Costco there's no extra charge for no-lines or scratch resistance; it comes with the package. I got my glasses there last year and paid $200. I mentioned this to the lady adjusting Cliff's glasses the other day and she said, "Oh, but they use older style frames."
Yeah, probably from last year. How much do frames change in a year's time?
So that's my little plug for Costco, and a big THANK YOU to the good friend who allowed us to have a free business membership on her family plan.