Millions of Americans will soon be able to buy hearing aids without a prescription

black hearing aids being held by 2 hands

Adults with perceived mild to moderate hearing impairment will be able to buy hearing aids directly from stores, pharmacies and online retailers — no prescription or doctor’s appointment required — as soon as mid-October.

That’s thanks to a final rule issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday and set to take effect in two months, following years of campaigning by lawmakers and advocates. It creates a new category of over-the-counter hearing aids, which the Biden administration says will make the devices more accessible and affordable for millions of Americans.

The new rule applies only to certain air-conduction hearing aids for people ages 18 and older who experience mild to moderate hearing impairment, meaning those that are intended for pediatric use or severe hearing impairment will remain prescription devices. It also does not apply to “personal sound amplification products,” consumer products that help people with normal hearing amplify sounds.

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** DAD Note:  Hearing aids are already covered by those 18 years or younger through medical insurance.  This new program is more of a ‘generic’ hearing aid and not customized to your hearing.  Similar to glasses out there.  The difference is after you pass 18, hearing aid coverage is gone in most states and it has been difficult for many to pass hearing aid coverage as part of medical insurances with little success.  One exemption is the Veterans Administration (VA, aka: military) do cover hearing aids since 2010 or so.