Kinney Drugs has partnered with Lucid® Hearing to launch a new Hearing Health Center – which offers an assortment of over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids, personal sound amplifiers, and hearing protection – in 52 of its stores in both New York and Vermont.
In October 2022, hearing aids for individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss were USFDA-approved for OTC sale to consumers age 18+. Before then, hearing aids were only available after testing and a prescription from a licensed hearing professional. OTC hearing aids are intended to make hearing healthcare more accessible and affordable. According to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), average prescription hearing aids can range from $2,300 to $4,500 per ear. In comparison, Kinney’s regular retail prices range from $40 per pair of personal sound amplifiers to around $1,000 per pair of Bluetooth®-compatible OTC hearing aids. The company is also offering discounted introductory pricing on many of its new hearing products. Consumers can pay for OTC hearing aids with funds from their Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) or Health Savings Accounts (HSA), according to IRS guidelines. All of Kinney’s hearing aids and amplifiers feature a 60-day return policy and one-year warranty on parts and labor.
More than half of U.S. adults say they have some difficulty hearing, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. That’s a lot of people who can’t hear birds singing, or soft music, or fully participate in conversations. Until now, hearing solutions were financially out of reach for many.
“We are thrilled with the FDA’s decision to allow hearing aids to be sold over the counter, and Kinney Drugs wants to be the first in our markets to offer them. We have partnered with Lucid® Hearing to bring more affordable hearing solutions to our patients and customers – without a hearing exam or prescription,” said John Marraffa, Jr., R.Ph., President, Kinney Drugs. “I do want to point out that OTC hearing aids aren’t for everyone. It’s important for individuals with severe or profound hearing loss, sudden hearing loss, and/or other medical issues such as pain or balance problems to see an earnose-throat specialist and/or a licensed hearing professional. For people with mild to moderate hearing loss, I believe Kinney has solutions that could really help improve their quality of life.”