What you need to know about over-the-counter hearing aids

October 2022

The recent FDA ruling on the sale of over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids to adults with perceived mild to moderate hearing loss is a positive for hearing care. Set to take effect this month, the ruling provides increased access to hearing health care for millions of Americans. 

OTC hearing aids are a new tool to make hearing care more accessible, both through price and availability. It could be a good first step for those who are not ready to invest in prescription hearing aids but could benefit from treating their perceived mild to moderate hearing loss.

Our focus remains on in-person care

Despite these changes in the marketplace, our recommendation is that members start with in-person care to learn about their degree of hearing loss and care options. This approach connects them with your practice and gives them access to your clinical expertise and care to support their hearing health care journey.

We strive to deliver affordable and accessible hearing care that appeals to our diverse membership and continue to offer Relate® models at a comparable and competitive price. In-person care will continue to be the primary channel for members, and we also will be offering a select number of OTC hearing aids. In addition, we’re launching a new website in November where members can browse prescription hearing aids, choose a provider and search for OTC hearing aids supplies and accessories.

Standard member benefits

  • Our program covers professional services and prescription hearing aid devices
  • At this time, OTC hearing aids are not currently covered under standard benefits 
  • Members can apply their benefits to private label hearing aids. Our Relate hearing aids are designed for affordability with professional care. After applying benefits, the cost for members is typically at a price equal to or lower than OTC options.*

*Applicable to employer-sponsored or Medicare Advantage plans.