Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) recently announced that they will introduce a new bipartisan bill that would make certain types of hearing aids available over the counter. This would remove “unnecessary and burdensome” requirements that currently serve as barriers to many customers who could benefit from hearing aids.
Statistics show that only 14% of individuals suffering from hearing loss actually use assistive hearing technology, in large part because hearing aids are too costly. This, despite that 30 million Americans experience age-related hearing loss.
“Millions of people in Massachusetts and across the country experience hearing loss as they get older, but are unable to get the hearing aids they need because of high costs and complicated regulations,” said Senator Warren.
“If you can buy non-prescription reading glasses over the counter, it makes sense that you should be able to buy basic, safe hearing aids, too. The goal is that by making more products more easily available to consumers, competition will increase and lead to lower costs,” said Senator Chuck Grassley.
Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2016
This bipartisan bill would allow hearing aids intended for mild-to-moderate hearing loss to be sold over the counter, eliminating the requirement for people to get a medical evaluation or sign a waiver in order to acquire them. The bill also asks the FDA to issue regulations for safety and labeling requirements for this new category of hearing aids. Out of pocket costs for a single hearing aid average to around $2,400, and the OTC Hearing Aid Act is designed to help consumers hit a lower price point at the recommendations of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST).
Hear Better with Clarity Audiology & Hearing Solutions
Need help with your hearing? Clarity Hearing can help. Clarity Audiology & Hearing Solutions is an independently-owned and operated clinic that focuses on quality of care and personalized, friendly service. Our Doctors of Audiology are highly trained with advanced degrees and take the time to provide the personalized care and attention that you need and deserve. We provide advanced hearing aid options that personally calibrated with cutting-edge digital technology to fit your hearing loss, your unique ear anatomy, and your individual listening needs.
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