By far the most frequently asked question into the HLAA national office is: "How do I afford hearing aids?" The most frequently viewed page on our website is the Financial Assistance page. Clearly there is a need for more affordable and accessible hearing devices.
For those with mild to moderate hearing loss, there is good news: U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) announced that they will introduce the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2016. The bipartisan legislation would make certain types of hearing aids available over the counter (OTC) and remove unnecessary and burdensome requirements that currently create barriers for consumers who could benefit from hearing aids. Approximately 30 million Americans experience age-related hearing loss, yet only about 14 percent of those with hearing loss use assistive hearing technology, often because they cannot afford costly hearing aids.
Senator Grassley’s office reached out to HLAA for input and we will work with them to ensure that language concerning consumer protection measures and consumer education is included in the bill. We are also happy that legislation is being considered, that the need for an affordable option to high cost hearing aids for so many people is being taken seriously.