One major factor that determines how much hearing aids cost is the amount the manufacturer invests in research and development. Dr. Bettie Borton, a Clinical Audiologist in Alabama and President of the American Academy of Audiology, writes the following about the investment each hearing aid manufacturer makes into research and development:
This directly impacts the amount hearing aid manufacturers charge for their products. It also helps us understand why the technology in modern hearing aids is second only to the technology behind space travel.
Federal Regulations also impact the price of hearing aids.
Hearing instruments are medical devices that are subject to regulation by the FDA, FTC, and FCC. Regardless of where you stand on the political spectrum, federal regulations are intended to protect consumers from predatory and unsafe business practices. However, businesses usually pass the cost of complying with these standards onto the consumer. The National Economic Research Association released a report in August, 2012 detailing how federal regulations impact the cost of goods:
The cost for compliance with federal regulations is one more component hearing aid manufacturers must account for as they calculate the price point for the products they offer.