WASHINGTON – As a result of Senator Hassan and colleagues’ bipartisan law, the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act, pharmacies are able to start selling hearing aids over the counter today. Senator Hassan’s legislation removed outdated regulations that blocked consumer access to lower costs hearing aids and allowed hearing aids to be made available over-the-counter to Americans with mild or moderate hearing loss.
“Hearing loss is a challenge that impacts millions of Americans, but too often, Granite Staters struggle to afford or access hearing aids,” said Senator Hassan. “I worked with a bipartisan group of my colleagues to make hearing aids available over-the-counter, and this is now starting to happen. This is an important way to make hearing aids more affordable and accessible, and I will continue working with my colleagues to lower health care costs.”
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.
Senator Hassan and colleagues’ Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act removed outdated regulations that blocked consumer access to affordable hearing aids, and allows certain types of hearing aids to be made available over-the-counter to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.