Walmart announced Monday that its customers can for the primary time buy over-the-counter hearing aids with out a prescription and medical exam by a health care provider.
The move comes shortly after the US Food and Drug Administration announced a long-awaited rule change in August pertaining to hearing aids.
As a substitute of getting a prescription, visiting a hearing health skilled and having a custom fitting, individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss will now give you the option to purchase hearing aids directly from a store or online
The OTC hearing aids can be found to Walmart shoppers within the US who’re 18 years and older “with perceived mild-to-moderate hearing loss with out a medical exam or fitting adjustment needed by an audiologist.”
(WMT) said prices for the hearing aids range from $199 to $999 per pair, including brands resembling Lexie powered by Bose (priced at $849 to $999) and HearX (priced at $199 to $299).
“Offering quick access to OTC hearing aids, something that seems quite small, is an answer that may improve our customers’ health outcomes and their ability to live higher and healthier,” Dr. John Wigneswaran, chief medical officer at Walmart, said in an announcement.
The retailer said shoppers can now buy the OTC hearing aids on Walmart.com and in Walmart Vision Centers in Colorado, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas.
It plans to soon make them available to additional Walmart Vision Centers nationwide. The corporate currently operates greater than 3,000 Vision Centers across the country.
An estimated1 in 8 people within the US ages 12 and older have hearing loss in each ears, and the speed increases significantly with age. A couple of quarter of individuals 65 to 74 have hearing loss, and that goes as much as 50% around age 75.
The FDA said its rule change would make hearing aids way more widely available and less expensive across the country.
The agency estimates the new rule could lead to savings of about $2,800 a pair. Most private insurers don’t cover hearing aids, which aren’t low-cost.
On average, people spend not less than $4,000 out of pocket for devices for each ears, in response to a 2020 study published in JAMA.
– CNN’s Carma Hassan and Jen Christensen contributed to this story.