IntriCon Backs Bipartisan Legislation to Make Hearing Aids Available Over the Counter

ARDEN HILLS, Minn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–IntriCon Corporation (NASDAQ: IIN), a designer, developer,
manufacturer and distributor of miniature and micro-miniature body-worn
devices, today announced its support of legislation to make hearing aids
available for those with mild to moderate hearing loss available over
the counter. “The Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017” was
introduced on March 21, 2017, by U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren
(D-Mass.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), and Johnny
Isakson (R-Ga.). A companion bill led by Representatives Joe Kennedy III
(D-Mass.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) was also introduced in the

The proposed legislation would make certain types of hearing aids
available over the counter to Americans with mild to moderate hearing
impairment. In addition, it would require the FDA to write regulations
ensuring that this new category of over-the-counter hearing aids meets
the same high standards for safety, consumer labeling and manufacturing
protections as all medical devices, providing consumers the option of an
FDA-regulated device at lower cost.

“The Over-the Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017 has the potential to
remove the significant barriers existing today that prevent innovative
hearing health solutions,” said Mark Gorder, president and chief
executive officer of IntriCon. “This legislation would invigorate
competition, spur innovation and facilitate the development of an
ecosystem of hearing health care that provides affordable and accessible
solutions to millions of unserved or underserved Americans. Equally
important, it aligns with our efforts to establish a new
direct-to-consumer distribution through Hearing Help Express.”

IntriCon recently acquired Hearing Help Express (HHE), a provider of
hearing aids direct to consumer (DTC). HHE has been providing hearing
care DTC for the last 20 years, serving patients in rural and poorer
urban areas with mild, moderate and moderate-severe hearing loss.

Nearly 30 million Americans experience age-related hearing loss,
including over half of adults between the ages of 70 to 79. Yet only a
small share of Americans with hearing loss – around 14 percent – use
hearing aids, primarily due to their high cost. Hearing aids are not
covered by Medicare or most private insurance plans, and out-of-pocket
costs for a single hearing aid average $2,400, and 70 percent suffer
hearing loss in both ears, increasing costs to, on average, $4,800—far
out of reach for many consumers.

The provisions of the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act implement major
recommendations from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and
Technology and the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and
Medicine. The legislation has received endorsements from AARP, the
Academy of Doctors of Audiology, the Gerontological Society of America,
and the Hearing Loss Association of America.

Concluded Gorder, “We feel this legislation will allow us to create
innovative solutions that provide greater hearing device access at a
much lower cost for millions of Americans.”

About IntriCon Corporation
Headquartered in Arden Hills,
Minn., IntriCon Corporation designs, develops, manufactures and
distributes miniature and micro-miniature body-worn devices. These
advanced products help medical, health care and professional
communications companies meet the rising demand for smaller, more
intelligent and better connected devices. IntriCon has facilities in the
United States, Asia, the United Kingdom and Europe. The company’s common
stock trades under the symbol “IIN” on the NASDAQ Global Market. For
more information about IntriCon, visit

Forward-Looking Statements
Statements made in this release
and in IntriCon’s other public filings and releases that are not
historical facts or that include forward-looking terminology are
“forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These forward-looking statements may
be affected by known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors
that are beyond IntriCon’s control, and may cause IntriCon’s actual
results, performance or achievements to differ materially from the
results, performance and achievements expressed or implied in the
forward-looking statements. These risks, uncertainties and other factors
are detailed from time to time in the company’s filings with the
Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Annual Report on Form
10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016. The company disclaims any
intent or obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking
statements, regardless of whether new information becomes available,
future developments occur or otherwise.


At IntriCon:
Scott Longval, CFO, 651-604-9526

Matt Sullivan, 612-455-1700