Millions of Americans will be able buy hearing aids over the counter once they fall under a new Food and Drug Administration rule, which will likely also lower prices, the Biden administration announced.
FDA finalized a rule on TuesdayThe agency claims that this would create an entirely new category of over-the counter hearing aids. This will be primarily beneficial to those with mild to moderate hearing impairment. Individuals with hearing loss can now purchase aids online and in-store, without the need for a prescription or appointment with a doctor.
According to the administration, this will make access to hearing aids much easier and reduce their cost. Access to hearing aids is often difficult because of the high cost. Hearing aids can range from $2,000 to $3,000 $2,000 and $7,000A pair with an average of around $4,600. These are the costs are not coveredMedicare and are often not covered under private health insurance plans. The new rule, which was praised by public health professionalsPresident Joe Biden believes that this could lower costs by as high as $3,000 says.
The rule was a result. of an executive orderBiden signed a directive to the Department of Health and Human Services in July to allow hearing aids to go on sale over the counter. This will increase competition and access to the medical equipment and pharmaceutical industries.
According to the FDA, nearly 30 million Americans could benefit from hearing aids if they were available. People who have hearing loss say thatPeople with this condition often feel depressed or anxious and are often isolated. Seeing an audiologist to get hearing aids prescribed can be time-consuming and costly.
Hearing aids are still not accessible to many people. Only about 1 in 5People who would benefit from hearing aids should use them.
“For millions of Americans, hearing aids and the doctor’s visit to get them prescribed are too expensive,” Biden saidIn a statement. “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.”
Biden also stated that the new ruling will increase market competition. Currently, five large hearing aid manufacturersAround 90 percent of market share is held by the dominant players.
HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said that the rule is a “significant milestone” in making hearing aids more accessible. “Reducing health care costs in America has been a priority of mine since Day One and this rule is expected to help us achieve quality, affordable health care access for millions of Americans in need,” Becerra said.
The rule has been praised by progressive lawmakers as well. “Even mild hearing loss among older people can increase social isolation and, studies show, double dementia risk,” wrote the Congressional Progressive Caucus on Twitter. “This is such an important move that will change lives.”
A prescription is required for anyone with severe hearing loss or under 18 years old.
Despite established links between hearing loss and depression, dementia, and more, many people with hearing loss don’t purchase hearing aids, a recent poll found. This is partly due. cost and stigmaThis is due to a poor understanding of hearing health.
These deficiencies may be linked to the fact that Medicare doesn’t cover hearing, forcing people to seek out care out of pocket or through private insurance, which many can’t afford.
As a result, there are some progressive advocatesTo ensure that seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries, including those with disabilities can access hearing care, we have called for Medicare and Medicaid expansions. Advocates for those with hearing lossThey have stressed that even though the rule increases access for many people with hearing loss, some people still need to consult an audiologist to fully understand their condition and get fitted for hearing aids.
According to a report released in JuneSenators Elizabeth Warren (D.Washington) & Chuck Grassley, (R.Iowa), were the hearing aid manufacturers who waged a fierce campaign against the FDA’s rule. They sent hundreds of what appeared to be form letters to lawmakers and submitted hundreds of comments during the rule’s public comment period, amounting to nearly 40 percent of all publicly available comments on the rule.