Lawmakers in Ohio are supporting a bill that would require insurance companies to cover the cost of hearing aids for those age 21 and under, according to an article in The Columbus Dispatch.
House Bill 243—sponsored by Rep. Casey Weinstein, D-Hudson and Rep. Allison Russo, D-Upper Arlington, would make it mandatory for insurance companies to pay up to $2,500 per hearing aid over four years, according to the Dispatch article. The cost for hearing devices—which is paid out-of-pocket by many families—is considered “cosmetic” and not a medical necessity by many insurance companies who deny coverage. According to Carrie Spangler, an educational audiologist with the Summit Educational Service Center who was quoted in the article, not having access to hearing devices can affect a child’s future academic performance and spoken language ability.

Ellie Warren, a 16-year-old who spoke in favor of the bill, said her family’s expenses for hearing devices can exceed $13,000 (two other siblings also have hearing loss).

Earlier this year, legislators in California and Nevada introduced bills requiring similar coverage for children’s hearing aids. Both Idaho and Illinois have made insurers responsible for covering the cost of hearing aids for children.

To read the Dispatch article in its entirety, please click here.

Source: The Columbus Dispatch