A Los Angeles area family has begun a social media campaign on Change.org to convince United Healthcare to cover their infant son’s cochlear implant and surgery.

Nixon Hunter was born profoundly deaf and with other ailments; his doctors believe that Nixon will be able to hear in his right ear with a cochlear implant, state Nixon’s parents in the petition. However, their insurer, United Healthcare, has denied coverage for Nixon’s cochlear implant surgery, calling it an elective procedure.

According to the Hunter family’s petition, over 90% of commercial health plans in the United States cover cochlear implant surgery, but the petition does not cite the source for that statistic.

So far, the Hunter family has received a great deal of local television press in the Los Angeles area, and they hope that their petition will change United Healthcare’s coverage policy for their son, as well as for other profoundly deaf patients who have coverage through United Healthcare.

Currently, over 38,000 have signed the petition. The Hunters are seeking 50,000 signatures.

United Healthcare’s hi Health Innovations division also made hearing health news in 2012 when it launched a hearing aid program that was originally diagnosed through an Internet portal. It has since withdrawn that portal due to FDA regulatory concerns.

SOURCE: Change.org Petition