Over-the-counter vs. custom hearing aids: which should you choose?

hearing aid

Coming to terms with hearing loss isn’t easy, and it’s not something many people are prepared to deal with. Maybe you’ve noticed you can only hear loved ones when they’re shouting, or that you ask people to repeat themselves more often than you used to. Maybe you’re not sure just how much your hearing has diminished, but you know that you’re frustrated and would like to get back to normal.

Understanding your treatment options is the first step, and we’re here to help. If you’re considering a hearing device, such as an over-the-counter or custom hearing aid, it’s important to know that not all hearing aids are created equal.

Over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids

OTC hearing aids can help those with mild-to-moderate hearing loss pick up sounds they occasionally have difficulty making out. They can be purchased from retailers online or in-store and don’t require a visit to an audiologist. For this reason, they are considered a convenient and quick fix, but they are not necessarily a solution that suits all hearing needs.

Drawbacks of OTC hearing aids

Without an evaluation from a qualified audiologist, it can be difficult to determine the degree of your hearing loss, and you risk not receiving the appropriate level of care for the symptoms you’re experiencing. Also, if your hearing changes over time, you may find that your OTC hearing aids lose their effectiveness.

Benefits of custom hearing aids

Custom hearing aids are tailored to your specific needs, which are identified by a licensed professional who can diagnose the exact cause of your hearing loss. Hearing care should be personalized and easy-to-navigate, which is why we recommend a custom solution in which your unique goals are met.

At Evernorth Care Group, we offer customized audiology services to help overcome your hearing challenges, including:

  • Full hearing evaluations—receive one covered hearing exam every year, with no copay on all Cigna Medicare Advantage plans.
  • Personalized prescriptions—our audiologists will determine what device is appropriate and update the prescription over time if hearing needs change.
  • State-of-the-art technology—our hearing aids are tested in case studies before they are released and are kept up-to-date with the latest chipset knowledge and firmware.
  • Follow-up visits at no charge—including hearing aid adjustments, parts and supplies and a 3-year warranty on your device(s).
  • Limited out-of-pocket costs—hearing care is made affordable under 2023 Cigna Medicare Advantage plans, and plan allowances can be applied to all styles of hearing aids.

We have three audiology care centers to help you with your hearing needs. Find a location near you here—no referral needed.

John Hopkins Medicine. “Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids: Frequently Asked Questions”. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/hearing-aids/over-the-counter-hearing-aids-faq