48 million Americans have hearing loss in at least one ear, but only 14% of them use a hearing aid. A big reason? Hearing aids are expensive. Outdated FDA regulations have allowed a small number of legacy hearing aid manufacturers to limit the hearing aid choices available. That also drives up costs — and because Medicare and most private insurance plans don’t cover them, a single hearing aid averages more than $2000.
I’ve introduced a bill with Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley to loosen regulations to allow certain types of hearing aids for adults with mild to moderate hearing loss to be sold over-the-counter. For people in Massachusetts and all across the country, this bill will help bring down costs and expand choices so millions more Americans can afford hearing aids.