When we think of hearing aids, we think of a device that is for the elderly, and it’s not something that anyone ever has to think about until they’re really old.
However, hearing aids can be used by anyone with mild to moderate hearing loss, and they’re usually something that must be specially bought or prescribed by a doctor.
However, for the first time ever in the US, adults who are experiencing mild to moderate hearing loss will be able to purchase them over the counter! As a result, this move is now being called a “game changer.” According to the National Council on Aging, it all started back in July when President Joe Biden signed an executive order which was meant to encourage competition.
It has prompted the FDA to allow for the sale of over-the-counter, prescription-free hearing aids.
As of October 17th, the over-the-counter hearing aids are now available in stores following the FDA’s final rule being issued. Rather than having to go get a prescription and then get a custom hearing aid fitting from a professional, adults can simply walk into a store or go online in order to directly by their hearing aids.
Not only is this much more convenient for many people, but it’s also so much more cost-effective. Prescription hearing aids can be expensive, so these over-the-counter ones can really make a difference of several hundred dollars – even thousands!
According to a 2020 study published in the medical journal JAMA, it averages at least $4,000 out of pocket for someone to purchase devices for both ears. However, now with over the counter hearing aids, they can start as low as $200. That’s a big difference in savings.
At the moment, five companies have controlled 90% of the global marketplace for hearing aids, meaning that there has been no price competition. However, with the welcomed change, there will be more room for more companies to enter the scene, meaning that price competition can see a radical drop in cost. And that is always good.
What do you think of the over-the-counter hearing aids? Do you know someone who this will affect? Let us know!Whizzco