Four years after Congress passed bipartisan legislation requiring the FDA to allow over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids, President Biden issued an Executive kick-in-the-butt Order that gave them 120 days to act.
Now, this new category of OTC hearing aids, are enabling consumers with mild to moderate hearing impairment to purchase them directly from stores or online retailers without the need for a medical exam, prescription, or a fitting adjustment by an audiologist.
This has lowered the cost of hearings aids, furthering the Administration’s goal of expanding access to health care at lower prices for the American public. It is also designed to foster innovation and competition in the hearing aid technology marketplace.
The FDA estimated that the new rule could lower average costs by as much as $3,000 per pair.
You can now find a range of prices at retailers such as Walgreens, CVS, Hy-Vee, and Walmart. Best Buy will offer nearly 20 hearing devices online and at nearly 300 stores by the end of the month for as low as $200, reports The Hill.
Walgreens started selling them in stores and online for $799 a pair, while Walmart now carries them in 1,000 of their in-store vision centers—and at 474 Sam’s Club locations—for between $199 and $999 per pair.
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