October 17, 2022
Source: The White House
To lower the price of hearing aids and expand access, President Biden’s Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy called on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to make hearing aids available over the counter, without a prescription. That is now reality. Starting today, hearings aids are now on store shelves across the country—for thousands of dollars less than they previously cost.
Specifically, today, under a final rule issued by the FDA, adults with mild-to-moderate hearing loss can buy hearing aids at a store or online without a prescription, exam, or audiologist fitting. 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.
Retailers across the country are now selling over-the-counter hearing aids. Options available today or coming soon include:
- Starting today, 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.
- Starting today, CVS will start 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.
- Starting today, 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.
- Starting this week, Best Buy will offer nearly 20 different hearing devices online. By the end of October, it will offer hearing aids in nearly 300 stores across the country. Devices will range in price between $200 and $3,000.
- Starting this week, Hy-Vee will sell 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 will offer four models ranging in price from $499.99 to $999.99.