Hearing Aid Brands: Why More Is Better

How Product & Provider Choice Drives Member Satisfaction
Last update on Dec, 28, 2023

Hearing aids have become increasingly advanced and customizable, enabling them to meet the unique needs and preferences of those who rely on them most. However, when a hearing benefit program restricts members' freedom of choice, it hinders their ability to access the care they want.

The truth is the more limitations health plans impose on hearing aid brands and providers, the less satisfied members become. But poor satisfaction is just one of many negative outcomes you can expect when restricting member choice.

Your Members Are Diverse. Their Benefits Should Be, Too.

Every member has unique priorities, hobbies, health concerns, and finances. It is unrealistic to assume a single hearing aid manufacturer or a limited number of providers can meet the growing needs and demands of a diverse population of members.

Simply put, members value a large product and provider selection within a health plan. It grants them more freedom and control of their hearing health journey.

The availability of multiple hearing aid brands helps ensure that your members, with guidance from hearing care providers, can arrive at a hearing solution that’s tailored to their hearing loss, communication needs and lifestyle. 

What's at Stake with Plan Limitations

Health plans must recognize that their members may avoid seeking medical care if they feel their options are limited or interfere with their other priorities.

Scenario #1

Imagine a situation where a member discovers that the nearest hearing care provider is more than 30+ miles away, meaning she would have to dedicate an entire day to visit the provider for a routine screening or to get her hearing aids fitted.

She might decide to postpone or cancel her appointment, ultimately delaying her much-needed hearing intervention.

Scenario #2

Consider a situation where a member needs a hearing aid with advanced technology but at a lower cost. However, the brand that meets his requirements is not listed under his plan's covered options.

In the end, he must settle for a brand he didn't want in the first place, leading to frustration, annoyance, or the decision not to purchase hearing aids.


Either scenario can lead to untreated hearing loss. 

Providers play a crucial role in a patient's hearing journey

Providers play a crucial role in their patients' hearing health journey. In fact, in a national survey of consumers with and without Amplifon hearing benefits, respondents ranked their hearing care providers as highly influential in selecting hearing aid brands. It's essential to recognize that hearing aid selection is a collaborative process between member and provider.

However, when providers are required to fit a member with a specific brand of hearing aids instead of finding the best option for each individual, it hinders their ability to provide optimal care.

Furthermore, if providers' hearing aid choices are limited, and they are unable to fit members with a lower-cost hearing aid option, patients may be burdened by out-of-pocket expenses, negatively impacting their experience and member-provider relationship.

This not only results in a mismatch of members and hearing aid brands, but it also results in members not wearing their hearing aids every day or never wearing those prescribed by their provider.

When hearing aids end up in a drawer, they do not benefit the member or provide value to the health plan. Additionally, untreated hearing loss can increase the risk of significant and costly health issues, such as depression, dementia, and falls that cause injuries.

Hearing loss also leads to social isolation and loneliness.

The Bottom Line

Selecting a hearing aid

A key driver to positive member-provider satisfaction is the hearing aid and, more specifically, the ability of the provider to customize hearing aid brands and models to each individual's needs and preferences. This depends on freedom of choice.

Want the Facts?

The team at Amplifon Hearing Health Care commissioned a national survey of consumers and providers, publishing its results in a white paper titled, "Hearing Health Care: More Choices, Better Outcomes."

The survey covers several important topics related to hearing health benefits, including:

  • Positive views of the hearing health care experience
  • A strong preference for access to a wide range of hearing aid brands
  • A belief that providers should be able to choose the hearing aid that best suits each patient
  • A desire to know which brands are available before visiting a provider
  • Heavy reliance on the provider to recommend a hearing aid brand
  • A high expectation that health insurance will cover the cost of hearing aids

You can instantly download the white paper at no cost, for specific survey results and other insights into the perceptions of real consumers and hearing care providers.

Time for a Better Hearing Health Plan

Do your hearing health benefits give members the flexibility and freedom they deserve?

Amplifon understands the unique challenges of populations that need hearing health care, which is why we offer health plans an extensive formulary of hearing aid models from the leading hearing aid manufacturers, ensuring members have access to the latest technologies in hearing care.

We also have a large, nationwide provider network that enables members to find a hearing care provider close to home.

We partner with health plans to deliver an exceptional member experience at every step of the hearing care journey, including guiding members to the resources and tools they need to make informed decisions about their hearing health.

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Partnering with Amplifon means your members receive the quality care and support they need to maintain healthy hearing for life.

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