Hearing Aids Will Now Be Available Over the Counter and Could Be Cheaper With a New FDA Rule

The aids could be available in U.S. drug stores by mid-October.

A woman examines a patient with a red hearing aid.
Paving the way for cheaper hearing aids. Universal Images Group via Getty

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has finalized a rule that will allow Americans with mild to moderate hearing impairment to purchase hearing aids over-the-counter. Starting in mid-October these aids should be available at drug stores and online retailers, according to the FDA. Customers will not need a medical exam or prescription to buy them.

As many as 30 million Americans could benefit from the new rule, which is expected to make hearing aids cheaper by increasing competition among manufacturers. The average pair of hearing aids currently costs about $5,000, and as a result only about 14 percent of Americans with hearing loss use them.

“This action makes good on my commitment to lower costs for American families, delivering nearly $3,000 in savings to American families for a pair of hearing aids and giving people more choices to improve their health and wellbeing,” President Joe Biden said in a statement. Hearing Aids Will Now Be Available Over the Counter and Could Be Cheaper With a New FDA Rule