Walmart, CVS, Walgreens start selling over-the-counter hearing aids: What to know


For the very first time, Walmart, Walgreens and CVS customers will be able to buy over-the-counter hearing aids without a prescription.

In the coming days, Best Buy and Hy-Vee customers will be able to do the same.

The move comes months after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finalized a historic ruling, improving access to hearing aids for people with perceived mild-to moderate hearing loss by eliminating the need for a medical exam, prescription or a fitting adjustment by an audiologist, which officials have said “may in turn lower costs for millions of Americans.” 


Effective Monday, Walmart U.S. customers who are at least 18 years old with such hearing impairments can choose from an assortment of hearing aids online and in-store at Walmart Vision Centers in Colorado, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas, the Arkansas-based company announced Monday. 

They are also available at over 470 Sam’s Club Hearing Aid Center locations. Walmart said the products will also be available at additional Walmart Vision Centers nationwide “soon,” although it did not specify an exact date. 

The company said its hearing aid options will be sold at prices ranging from $199 to $999 per pair. Walmart is offering Affirm’s pay-over-time options to customers as well.

Meanwhile, Walgreens also started selling hearing aids at stores nationwide and online at roughly $800 a pair, the White House announced Monday. 

Similarly, CVS started selling over-the-counter hearing aids online “with varying options on model and price point,” according to the administration. Starting next month, the hearing aids will also be available in select CVS Pharmacy locations. 



“Hearings aids are now on store shelves across the country—for thousands of dollars less than they previously cost,” the White House said in a statement. 

In the coming days, Best Buy will begin offering nearly 20 different hearing devices online, according to the Biden administration. By the end of the month, it will also offer such products in nearly 300 stores across the country costing between $200 and $3,000.

Best Buy

Hy-Vee will sell over-the-counter hearing aids online and in 34 locations across Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and Wisconsin starting this week. It will offer four models ranging in price from $499.99 to nearly $1,000.

The hearing aids will be available at 100 locations by the end of the year. 

In August, federal officials established a new category of over-the-counter hearing aids, effectively allowing consumers with perceived mild to moderate hearing impairment to buy hearing aids from stores or online without any medical exam, prescription or a fitting adjustment by an audiologist.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
WMT WALMART INC. 130.43 -1.85 -1.40%
CVS CVS HEALTH CORP. 89.30 -0.80 -0.89%
BBY BEST BUY CO. INC. 63.35 -1.16 -1.80%

Brian Deese, a White House economics adviser, previously noted that “the requirement to see a specialist was not only a burden and an annoyance for many consumers, but it actually created a competitive barrier to entry.” 


Deese cited government estimates that Americans could eventually save as much as $2,800 per pair. However, FDA officials cautioned against predicting the size of savings or how quickly they might arrive, noting much will depend on when manufacturers launch products and how they price them.

Still, this new regulatory category will offer “convenient access to an array of safe, effective and affordable hearing aids from their neighborhood store or online,” FDA Commissioner Robert Califf previously said.  

The FDA has said that nearly 30 million adults in the U.S. can stand to benefit from hearing aids. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.  

Read the full article here


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