I am on my third set of hearing aids and have paid for all of them out of pocket, costing a range between $2-5K for each pair. With technology always evolving, my rather unique needs, and being a bit of a gadget geek, there are both needs and benefits to upgrading. My latest hearing aids pair with my cell phone and I can Bluetooth stream phone calls, google map directions, music and more which is a huge improvement and worth the investment. I am fortunate to be employed in a good job and have learned to always be saving for my next pair of hearing aids because you never know when they might become unrepairable or my needs may change. It just always makes me wonder how many people that could benefit from hearing aids go without because of their prohibitive cost. And with the all the recent politics around health care, I only fear that even more may go without in the future. Yet another reason why accessibility and access remains so important.