New Jersey legislation expands health insurance coverage for hearing aids and cochlear implants for children and young adults

State-regulated health insurers in New Jersey may soon be required to cover hearing aids and cochlear implants for individuals under 21 years of age thanks to legislation sponsored by Senator Vince Polistina that was approved March 16 by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

“No child or young adult should be left without access to medically necessary hearing aids, or in certain cases, cochlear implants”, commented Polistina (R-2). “These devices are critical in treating hearing loss, and are especially important during the formative years when young people are developing the skills to effectively communicate. My legislation will make sure that insurance companies provide proper benefits and coverage so that everyone under 21 can reach their full development and potential”.

Polistina’s bill, S-2535, amends “Grace’s Law”, S-467, which was signed into law in 2008 by Acting Governor Richard Codey. Named in honor of Grace Gleba, who advocated for hearing-impaired children, “Grace’s Law” requires all health insurers in the State to provide coverage for medically-necessary hearing aids for children 15 years of age and younger.

According to Polistina, S-2535 would expand the coverage of hearing aids to individuals 21 years of age and younger and require coverage for cochlear implants.

Polistina’s legislation was inspired by two constituents, Francesco Maione and his sister Maria, both of whom have cochlear implants. Polistina noted that his constituents’ experience helped him understand the importance of cochlear implants and hearing aids for children and young adults.

Source: New Jersey’s 2nd Legislative District

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