Starting October 17, Walmart announced that it will offer over the counter (OTC) hearing aids to help its customers “live better and healthier lives at affordable prices they can count on.”
By David Reitnauer, Vice President, Health & Wellness of Optical and Hearing
Walmart will offer an assortment of OTC hearing aids, ranging from $199 – $999 per pair. Options will include brands like Lexie powered by Bose and HearX that will offer technology like Bluetooth and self-tuning app capabilities and “discreet, sleek designs at everyday low prices,” according to the company’s announcement.
Nearly 30 million American adults could benefit from using hearing aids, making them an essential part of many Americans’ health care priorities.1 People with hearing loss are more likely to suffer from social isolation and depression, are three times more likely to be at risk of dementia, and have an increased risk of falling and hospitalization.2
“A person’s ‘whole health’ is a combination of many factors, including hearing, that influence physical and mental well-being,” said Dr John Wigneswaran, chief medical officer at Walmart. “Offering easy access to OTC hearing aids — something that seems quite small — is a solution that can improve our customer’s health outcomes and their ability to live better and healthier.”
With a reported 150 million customers passing through its doors each week, Walmart is in “a unique position to provide quality, affordable health and wellness services to all Americans where they live and shop.” To help make it easy for customers to understand their OTC hearing aid options and Walmart’s offerings, Walmart says it is providing additional resources online to help customers find the right device for them.
“Both my dad and I deal with hearing loss, and so I understand first-hand how it impacts a person’s ability to connect to their surroundings,” said Tammy Randall, a Vision Center associate in Oxford, Alabama, for the past 10 years. “When I was able to help find a solution for my dad, nothing touched me more than when I said, ‘Dad,’ and he could hear it clearly for the first time. Knowing the real difference this access has for people makes me so excited to have the opportunity to provide other people the chance to find an affordable product that works best for them.”
Walmart Health Centers offer hearing tests and other health care services for customers with a team of “qualified medical professionals that can help them assess potential hearing loss, rule out underlying medical conditions, and determine if a hearing aid is right for them.”
A broad assortment of OTC hearing aids are now available on Walmart.com and Walmart Vision Centers in Colorado, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas, as well as 474 Sam’s Club Hearing Aid Center locations, according to the company. OTC hearing aids will soon be available at additional Walmart Vision Centers nationwide. To help customers purchase the products that are right for them in a way that works for them, eligible customers can use Affirm’s pay-over-time options without any late or hidden fees.* *Payment options through Affirm are subject to eligibility, and are provided by these lending partners: affirm.com/lenders. CA residents: Loans by Affirm Loan Services, LLC are made or arranged pursuant to a California Finance Lenders Law license.
- FDA Finalizes Historic Rule Enabling Access to over-the-Counter Hearing Aids for Millions of Americans. News release. US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). August 16, 2022. https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-finalizes-historic-rule-enabling-access-over-counter-hearing-aids-millions-americans.
- The United States of Hearing Loss. Your Hearing Network website. https://yourhearingnetwork.com/the-united-states-of-hearing-loss/.
- The American Academy of Audiology (AAA) website. Depression and Hearing Loss. https://www.audiology.org/consumers-and-patients/hearing-and-balance/depression-and-hearing-loss/.