Memphis — Tennessee has passed and enacted HB0761, a law that mandates that group and individual insurance policies reimburse parents for hearing aids for their insured children.

This new law, effective January 1, 2012,  provides coverage of up to $1,000 per individual hearing aid per ear, every 3 years, for every child covered as a dependent by the policyholder.

This requirement would apply to most types of health insurance policies, including HMO and individual self-insured policies.

If a licensed audiologist or physician certifies that the child’s hearing loss has become significantly worse during the 3-year period since the child received a hearing aid, coverage must be provided for a new hearing aid suitable to the child’s hearing needs before the end of the 3-year period.

While the hearing aid must be covered, the policy’s contracted deductible still applies. Consequently, if the deductible has not been met, then the $1,000 cost could potentially still be borne by the parents.

The law also allows for a hearing aid that costs more than $1,000, but the policy holder will only receive the $1,000 maximum per ear.

SOURCE: (PDF download)