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BREAKING: Following Senator Hassan and Colleagues’ Bipartisan Legislation, Granite Staters Will Soon Be Able to Buy Hearing Aids Over-the-Counter

As soon as October, Granite Staters Will Be Able to Purchase More Affordable Hearing Aids

WASHINGTON – Thanks to Senator Hassan and colleagues’ bipartisan law, the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act, the FDA today issued a final rule clearing the way for hearing aids to be available over-the-counter as soon as October. Senator Hassan’s legislation removed outdated regulations that blocked consumer access to affordable hearing aids and allowed hearing aids to be made available over-the-counter to Americans with mild or moderate hearing loss. 

“Hearing loss is something that impacts almost all Americans as they age, and today’s long-awaited ruling by the FDA is a game changer for Granite Staters who, in as soon as two months, can walk into their local drug store and buy hearing aids on the spot,” said Senator Hassan. “I’ve heard from Granite Staters struggling to afford hearing aids - or even forgoing hearing aids altogether - which is why I worked with a bipartisan group of my colleagues to make them available over-the-counter. This will improve the quality of life for those suffering from hearing loss, increase market competition, and lower health care costs for Granite Staters.” 

More than 38 million Americans experience some degree of hearing loss. Older Americans are particularly affected, with nearly half of adults 75 or older reporting difficulty hearing. Despite the prevalence of hearing loss, only one in five people who could benefit from a hearing aid use one, mainly due to high costs. Hearing aids are not generally covered by private health insurance plans or traditional Medicare and can cost thousands of dollars – making them prohibitively expensive for many Americans.

In 2017, Congress passed Senator Hassan and colleagues’ Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act, which removed outdated regulations that blocked consumer access to affordable hearing aids, and allows certain types of hearing aids to be made available over-the-counter to Americans with mild or moderate hearing loss. By introducing more competition into the hearing aid market, the law will provide consumers with more options at prices they can afford. 

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