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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Medical Specialties & Departments > Cochlear Implant

Cochlear Implant Cost


How Much Does a Cochlear Implant Cost?

 
average costWith Insurance: $1,000-$50,000high costWithout Insurance: $50,000-$100,000
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A cochlear implant is a unique mechanical device that allows people with severe or total hearing loss to hear. The implant is surgically placed in the inner ear, stimulating the auditory nerve in the brain, while a headset helps the patient interpret sounds and voices.

Typical costs:

  • Cochlear implant surgery, including the implant itself, averages between $30,000 and $50,000 for patients without insurance. Some insurance companies do cover the cost of a cochlear implant; the average deductible in the U.S. is about $530 for an individual and $1,100 for a family, and copays range between $5 and $500 for individuals and families, depending upon the plan.
  • In addition to the implant, external pieces include a transmitter, which costs between $74 and $100; and a speech processor, which costs between $6,700 and $9,000.
  • Cochlear implant surgery requires as many as three pre-surgery office visits. For children, these visits can each cost between $240 and $570, but the national average is $450. For adults, the typical office visit costs between $160 and $385, but the national average is $216.
  • After the surgery, the cochlear implant will need to be reprogrammed at least five times in the first year. Reprogramming visits cost $102 to $397 for children under age seven, and $88 to $525 for adults, depending upon the clinic and location.
  • The total cost, including both preoperative and postoperative visits and therapy, can cost between $50,000 and $100,000 for those without health insurance, according to the University of Miami[1] . With insurance the cost will range from $1,000 to $50,000, depending upon the deductible and maximum-out-of-pocket expense threshold. People with high-deductible and high maximum-out-of-pocket expense threshold health insurance plans will pay significantly more.
Related articles: Hearing Test, Hearing Aid

What should be included:
  • Cochlear implant surgery costs include the implant, operating room supplies and medications, recovery supplies and medications, physician's fees and anesthesiologist fees.
  • The external pieces of the implant system are not included in the surgery fee. These devices include a transmitter and speech processor, which sit behind the ear like a hearing aid. The speech processor analyzes sound, while the transmitter sends a signal to the implant just under the skin.
  • Office visits prior to the surgery should include hearing, speech and language evaluations and a CT scan. One visit should also provide the patient with an orientation, tutorial on how to use the implant and an explanation regarding what to expect after surgery.
  • After the surgery, post-surgical visits will include a check of the surgical site to make sure healing is going well. Visits will also include reprogramming the speech processor to suit how the sound is interpreted. In some cases a speech and language therapist will also see the patient, to help the patient learn to listen with the implant.
Additional costs:
  • Cochlear implants rely on batteries to operate. Different implants use different types and sizes of batteries. Some use standard "AA" batteries, which can cost between $.27 and $1 each. Others use typical hearing aid batteries, which can cost between $.70 and $3.95 each. Rechargeable batteries, which cost more, should be replaced annually. Experts recommend that anyone with an implant have another set of batteries with them at all times.
  • Most cochlear implants come with a three-year warranty, which covers any maintenance or repairs. Experts recommend that patients purchase an extended warranty for their implant, which can cost between $300 and $400 annually. Without a warranty repair costs could be as high as the initial cost of the implant.
Discounts:
  • The Gift of Hearing lists organizations that provide financial assistance for people who want a cochlear implant. Income guidelines will apply.
  • The Listen-Up Web[2] also has a list of potential sources for help paying for a cochlear implant.
Shopping for a cochlear implant:
  • :
  • There are several manufacturers of cochlear implants, including Advanced Bionics[3] , Cochlear Corporation[4] and Med-El[5] . Patients should get to know each implant so, if desired, they can request a specific one from their provider.
  • Typically, a primary care or ear specialist will recommend a patient for cochlear implant surgery. The surgery will be performed by an otolaryngologist (an ear, nose and throat specialist). Usually otolaryngologists are already connected to a particular hospital. Don't be afraid to ask questions about the surgeon's experience and qualifications before the surgery, either by setting up an appointment or through the primary care physician.
  • The House Ear Clinic maintains a list of questions patients should ask prior to surgery. The list includes questions about pre-evaluations, surgery, the reprogramming process and rehabilitation.
  • The Gift of Hearing Foundation offers a host of resources for patients considering a cochlear implant.
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
 
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Cochlear implants
Amount: $1,000.00
Posted by: JoAnn Farley in Hollywood, CA.Posted: July 18th, 2017 09:07PM
Brand: Advanced BionicsMedical Facility: Kaiser
Doctor: Dr. PriceInsurance: Faiser
I have had two implants and can't be happier. Both were done by Kaiser in Southern California. Amount spent was my deductible which in 2002 was $10.00 a visit. Now at 72 my deductible is $20.00 a visit. Still a bargain to hear my family, friends and especially my grand kids. Thank you technology.
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3rd Cochlear Implant - Costs and procedures
Amount: $2,000.00
Posted by: Julie in El Segundo, CA in Los Angeles, CA.Posted: July 16th, 2017 11:07AM
Brand: Med-ElMedical Facility: St. VIncents/House Clinic
Doctor: LuxfordInsurance: Aetna
My son was initially implanted at age 2 (earliest age allowed in '98) with Advanced Bionics. At that point we found out he did not have a cochlea and his surgery was a very rare 'common cavity implant'. We had to appeal insurance denial. Big hassle. Implant failed within 3 years and he was explanted/re-implanted at age 5 (2001) with Advanced Bionics. AB paid for device and we paid surgery. Worked very well for about 10 years, then we noticed he was losing hearing. Implant failed in 2016. Explanted and reimplanted with Med-El in July, 2016. Bills were for over $130,000 but pd. about $2000 out of pocket. Would have been more but we hit the deductible and out of pocket annual maximum of $7500. with other medical bills.
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Cochlear Implant Cost
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Eric L Smith in Chapel Hill, NC.Posted: April 23rd, 2017 05:04PM
Brand: Med-ElMedical Facility: UNC
Doctor: Dr. Harold PillsburyInsurance: BCBS/Tri-care
I had implant surgery on 31 January 2017, I have only paid $144 fo a Programing appointment. Every penny was covered by insurance. I am retired military and I am 63 years old. They have all ages of people getting implants at the UNC hospital in Chapel Hill NC. The surgery was excellent, as DR.Pilssbury is one of the outstanding surgeons in this area.
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cochlear implaant
Amount: $500,000.00
Posted by: a user in wasco, CA.Posted: March 18th, 2014 04:03PM
Brand: unkMedical Facility: USC
Doctor: UscInsurance: ccs and medical
My son is being evaluated for cochlear implant. i am told that it is "unlikely" he is a candidate because of age. he is 18 years of age . It is something he has always wanted to speak and be hearing again. IT is to my belief this is some kind of protocal this medical establishment has. I would like more information or organizations that would give a second opinion. As I feel that this institute provides services for children The preference for candidate for the cochlear implant is young children. This has only been one appointment and one hearing test . And they are telling me my son is not a candidate because of his age.He IS SEVERE TO PROFOUND HEARING LOSS.Is there any other institutes in southern california that do cochlear implant procedures. Thank you.Cynthia Leyva
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cochlear implant
Amount: $100,000.00
Posted by: mtPleasant in Seffner, FL.Posted: May 12th, 2013 03:05PM
Brand: ABMedical Facility:
Doctor: Insurance: wont cover
Trying to get assistance, insurance is denying claim.
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cochlear implant surgery 2012
Amount: $130,000.00
Posted by: Darcy Granados in orlando, FL.Posted: April 26th, 2013 08:04AM
Brand: neucliusMedical Facility: Arnold Palmer
Doctor: Dr. JaryzachInsurance: Golden Rule
This figure is beyond out of range unless you have government support. My family paid out of pocket $750.00 per month w/ deductible of 2500 per person $5000 per family for the year. The surgery alone at Arnold Palmer through insurance was approximately $130,000.00 not including what the insurance would cover, not including the audiologist requirements after surgery with follow up appointments, not including the pre-testing requirements of a CT scan, MRI w or w/out contrast, blood work. It took a total of approximately 1 year to get pre-approved via "FDA" before we could attempt the surgery. This excludes the hearing aides prior to surgery, the testing...multiple testing prior to the option to see if my son was /could be a candidate for an implant.
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Cochlear Implant
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Roslynn Watson in OK.City, OK.Posted: August 1st, 2011 04:08PM
Brand: CochlearMedical Facility: Hough ear institute Building
Doctor: DR.KopkeInsurance: Medicare/Woodsman of the world
I had an implant June 1st.
Havent received a bill yet
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External Resources:
  1.  cochlearimplants.med.miami.edu/implants/08_Costs%20Associated%20with%20Cochlear%20Impla...
  2.  www.listen-up.org/haidfund.htm
  3.  www.bionicear.com/
  4.  www.cochlearamericas.com/
  5.  www.medel.com/us/index/index/id/1/title/Home/Journey-to-Cochlear-Implants/index.php
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