Did you hear the good news? Under the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) final rule announced last month, adults with mild-to-moderate hearing loss can now buy hearing aids at a store or online without a prescription, exam, or audiologist fitting. This change is thanks to President Biden’s push to lower the cost of hearing aids and expand access via his Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy. The Executive Order called on the FDA to make hearing aids available over the counter, without a prescription.
The FDA estimates this could lower average costs by as much as $3,000 per pair—providing significant breathing room for the nearly 30 million Americans with hearing loss, including nearly 10 million adults under age 60.
Below are some examples of retailers now selling over the counter hearing aids, as detailed in a recent White House fact sheet.
- Walgreens is selling hearings aids at stores nationwide and online for $799 per pair. According to Walgreens, comparable models sold by specialists range from $2,000 to $8,000 a pair.
- CVS is selling over-the-counter hearing aids on CVS.com, with varying options on model and price point. CVS will also offer hearing aids in select CVS Pharmacy locations beginning in November.
- Walmart will offer an assortment of over-the-counter hearing aids on Walmart.com, SamsClub.com, and in over 1,000 Vision Centers in Walmart stores across Colorado, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas, as well as 474 Sam’s Club Hearing Aid Center locations. Available products will range in price from $199 to $999 per pair, while according to Walmart, comparable prescription hearing aids are priced at $4,400 to $5,500 per pair.
- Best Buy is offering nearly 20 different hearing devices online, and is offering hearing aids in nearly 300 stores across the country. Devices range in price between $200 and $3,000.
- Hy-Vee is selling over-the-counter hearing aids online and in 34 locations across Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and Wisconsin. Hy-Vee plans to offer hearing aids in 100 locations by the end of the year. Hy-Vee offers four models ranging in price from $499.99 to $999.99.
For more information, see the White House fact sheet: Cheaper Hearing Aids Now in Stores Thanks to Biden Administration Competition Agenda.