Study: Six Million Older Adults Avoid Hearing Aids Because of Cost

More than 30 million older adults in America have hearing loss, and according to a newly released study by SeniorLiving, “More Than Six Million Older Adults Avoid Hearing Aids Because of Cost.” The high costs of professionally fit hearing aids, with average prices ranging from $1400 to over $2900 each, is cited as the main prohibitive factor.   

In 2017, a federal law directed the FDA to create a new category of over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids in the US. The FDA is expected to release regulations for the new OTC hearing aids later this year. 

“Medicare doesn’t cover hearing aids. Disallowing treatment for a condition that so greatly affects an individual’s physical and emotional health – and has even been shown to significantly increase risk for dementia – is not in seniors’ best interests. OTC hearing aids may help millions of seniors who can’t afford aids prescribed and fitted by professionals.” 

Jeff Hoyt, editor-in-chief at SeniorLiving.org

The report, which addresses how seniors with hearing loss are coping with their diagnoses, can be found at:

https://www.seniorliving.org/hearing/hearing-aid-study/

 

High-level findings include: 

Fifty-eight percent of those 55 and older who have hearing loss don’t use hearing aids. 

More than 38 percent of older adults with hearing loss who don’t use hearing aids labeled cost as the biggest reason for avoiding the devices.

More than four million seniors with hearing loss haven’t been prescribed hearing aids, meaning they could benefit from the devices being available OTC. 

Almost 78 percent of hearing aid users said the devices are too expensive.  

 

Source: SeniorLiving


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