December 8, 2010

Insurance Coverage for Hearing Aids

Most people are shocked to learn that hearing aids are not covered by health insurance in many states. While a typical adult hearing aid user might choose to upgrade hearing aids every five, seven or ten years, children receive great benefit from newer technology on a more frequent basis, like three to five years. Digital hearing aids-- even the basic models-- cost about $2,500 per aid. If your child has a more severe loss, the price tag creeps upward. Add on the cost of earmolds, batteries, and other accessories, and the total cost becomes gigantic. Health insurance provides coverage for annual hearing evaluations and the newborn hearing screen that gives many of us the initial diagnosis...then stops there. Hadley is just nine years old yet, in that time, we have spent about $20,000 on her ears.

There are several bills in the Massachusetts legislation right now that seek to require coverage for hearing aids. I have written many letters to members of our state and federal government about providing coverage for ALL hearing aid users, regardless of age, but I'm throwing my support toward any legal effort to provide some substantial coverage. The next legislative session opens in several weeks, and H910 is expected to be filed in both the House and Senate then. This bill is supported by the Massachusetts Hearing Aids for Children Coalition. Public support is critical to the success of this endeavor. Won't you please consider signing the petition and sending a letter of support to the Commonwealth?

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