A copy of a painting hangs on the wall in the Alexandria office of Wales Hearing Center. The painting, given to owner Greg Wales by his wife, Connie, describes the company philosophy. The caption on the painting says “Put Your Heart Into It.”
“Hearing instrument dispensing has always been more than a source of income for us at Wales,” said Greg. “Before money-back warranties for hearing aid sales were required by law, we had it as standard policy.”
And before the industry was regulated by the Department of Health, Wales was working with legislators to develop standards.
Governor Carlson appointed Wales to the Department of Health’s Hearing Instrument Dispenser Advisory Council where he served for many years. Even though Board Certification in Hearing Instrument Sciences is not a requirement to practice, Wales became board certified early in his career. Wales was re-elected by his peers as president of the Minnesota chapter of the International Hearing Society for 10 consecutive terms, where he served without pay. Wales believes that as a result of his efforts, the industry is more accountable and the hard-of-hearing community better served.
Wales Hearing Center is a family business with three generations. Working with Greg is his wife, Connie, who specializes in battery sales; their son, Micah, manager of the Fergus Falls office; and daughter, Pamela, who manages the Alexandria office. Pamela also practices as a Certified Master Herbalist at the Alexandria location.
Some long-standing services provided by Wales include the recycling of hearing aids.
“Most hearing aids are replaced before they outlive their usefulness, and others can have them reprogrammed for their benefit,” said Greg. “Wales allows anyone to bring or send hearing aids in to be checked for their usefulness without charge.” Computerized reprogramming of all major brands of hearing aids is available at Wales.
Wales works with veterans and their families to obtain hearing aids funded by the VA and state veteran offices.
“Most people aren’t aware that even spouses of veterans can be eligible to get hearing aids funded by the state veteran offices.” said Greg. “The VA service officer in each county has forms to fill out to apply for the benefit.”
Wales Hearing Center has provider status with all insurance companies as well as Minnesota Care policies available through the counties. To inquire about insurance benefits have your insurance card available and call Wales Hearing Center at 320-762-2505 or scan the card and email it to wales firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Many Medicare supplements have hearing aid benefits of $400 to $500 per year,” said Greg. “Patients often get one in December and one in January with a savings of $1,000.”
“Most people who are eligible for free hearing aid batteries through their insurance may not be aware and could end up paying for them out of their own pocket,” said Greg. “We have a program where we allow hearing aid users or their family members to call for information and order batteries. Wales processes the insurance claim and pays for shipping.”
Those interested in this service should have their insurance card available and call Connie at the battery hotline, 320-219-2415.
Those who do not have insurance or the means to pay for hearing aids themselves may still get hearing aids without charge through Wales. Wales has forms for patients to apply for free hearing aids from Starkey Hearing Foundation, a division of Starkey Labs which provides free hearing aids to those who qualify. In these cases, Wales provides their services without charge.
Another service Wales provides without charge is free hearing testing and certification of hearing loss so patients can receive free captioned telephones through Caption Call.
“Wales Hearing Centers have a reputation for low prices, even beating Internet prices, and prompt friendly service,” said Greg. “Most patients leave the office with hearing aids after their first visit.”
All hearing aids are available with a free, no-obligation, one-week test drive. Trade-ins may be used, payment plans are available, and credit cards are accepted.
“The Wales family wishes to thank our patients for the many years of patronage,” said Greg.