Funding Sources - Insurance Companies
If your insurance provider does not automatically provide coverage for your child's assistive listening devices, here is some information that you may find useful.
AG Bell Article - Advocating for Your Child: One Parent's Approach to Securing Health Insurance Coverage for Hearing Aids
What Does Health Insurance Pay for Cochlear Implants - A very good web site / article with information about insurance companies paying for cochlear implants.
Self Help for Hard of Hearing People Article - How to get your company to add hearing aid coverage to their health insurance options.
Cochlear Implant Association - Article on advocacy.
Cochlear, Inc. - Focus on Reimbursement
State by State - The Law
Few states mandate hearing aid / cochlear implant coverage. Many states (including Colorado) have proposed legislation recently, but due to rising costs of insurance coverage, these bills do not usually pass. The Washington State Association of SHHH has a document outlining current coverage, state by state (updated February 2003).
Alabama - SB189 (passed) reads: "This Act removes the prohibition, in §36-29-5, Code, against state health insurance coverage for hearing aids and provides that the State Employees Insurance Board may vote to cover these expenses in whole or in part on or after the Act's effective date."
Connecticut - Under current Connecticut law a child under the age of 13 is entitled to reimbursement of $1,000.00 every two (2) years.
Kentucky - Revised Statutes Chapter 304.17A.131 states "All health benefit plans shall provide coverage for cochlear implants for persons diagnosed with profound hearing impairment." Bill SB 152 also passed and requires all health benefit plans to provide coverage for hearing aids and related services for persons under 18 years of age.
Maryland - HB 160 mandates health insurance companies provide $1400.00 worth of coverage per hearing aid every three years through the child's 18th birthday. Also, SB 281 & SB 282 authorize $250,000 in state funds to create a hearing aid loaner program children birth to three years. Hearing aids can be loaned out for 6 months until the family can get the child their own and/or decide which kind of hearing aids are appropriate.
Missouri - Chapter 376 of the Missouri Revised Statutes states "...shall offer coverage for the necessary care and treatment of loss or impairment of speech or hearing subject to the same durational limits, dollar limits, deductibles and coinsurance factors as other covered services in such policies or contracts."
Oklahoma - Any new or renewed insurance policy after 1999 in the state will be required to cover hearing aids and audiological services for children up to age 13. The bill is available by clicking here.
Rhode Island - House Bill 00H7298 amends Chapter 27 of the General Laws to include hearing aid coverage.
Texas - See the Texas Department of Insurance for more info. An issuer of a group health benefit plan shall offer and make available under the plan coverage for the necessary care and treatment of loss or impairment of speech or hearing. This offer of coverage is subject to the right of the group health benefit plan holder to reject the coverage.
Help Kids Hear is a site dedicated to helping parents of deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) children. We are parents of hard of hearing kids and simply want to "give back" to the community. We welcome your comments, questions & suggestions. Please drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.