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U.S. State Level Insurance Coverage for Children’s Hearing Aids

Since 2002, 23 states have enacted laws requiring insurance providers to cover the cost of hearing aids for children. Although state legislation varies in the amount of coverage provided, frequency of coverage, and maximum age of children who are covered, for families living in these states this insurance coverage is a significant benefit.  

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By Joni Alberg

Although hearing aids are readily available for infants, toddlers, and children, they are not always accessible for families. The high cost of the hearing aids themselves, along with the necessary accessories and services required for a child to obtain full access to sound through the hearing aids, can be prohibitive for many families. It is for this reason that, many states have enacted legislation requiring insurance providers to cover the cost of hearing aids for children under the age of 21. 

Children who are born with a loss of hearing have missed early exposure to sound and language that begins in the womb. At 18 weeks, a fetus can hear their mother’s heartbeat, and by 27 weeks, her voice. Fortunately, most babies born in the U.S. today are screened at birth for hearing loss. With early identification, hearing aids can be fit on babies within the first weeks of life—providing them access to the sounds they missed before their loss was detected. And with early intervention support from trained listening and spoken language professionals, they can develop language and speech skills like their hearing peers. That’s why providing insurance coverage for hearing aids can make a world of difference for these children. 

States with Hearing Aid Insurance Laws 

Since 2002, 23 states have enacted laws requiring insurance providers to cover the cost of hearing aids for children. Although state legislation varies in the amount of coverage provided, frequency of coverage, and maximum age of children who are covered, for families living in these states this insurance coverage is a significant benefit.  

Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin all have insurance mandates. You can learn about about the specific coverage for each of these states by visiting the State Hearing Aid Insurance Laws website. In addition to providing basic information about the insurance coverage, links to the legislation are provided.  

Currently, an additional seven states have legislation pending. These states are Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, Mississippi, New York, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Vermont. Several of these states have tried repeatedly though unsuccessfully to pass insurance legislation for children’s hearing aids.  

Would this coverage benefit you? If yes, your legislators need to hear from you! Find out who represents you in your state here. Type in your street address, including the city, state and zip code, and you will receive the names and links for your state legislators. Contact them by email or phone and tell them to support passage of the hearing aid insurance law. Refer to the Bill number in your message, which you can find using the links above.  

Your voice does make a difference! Make sure yours is heard. 

Cobertura de seguro estadounidense a nivel estatal para audífonos infantiles 

Si bien los audífonos están fácilmente disponibles para los bebés y los niños, no siempre están al alcance de las familias. El elevado costo de los propios audífonos, junto con los accesorios y servicios necesarios para que un niño tenga un acceso pleno al sonido a través de los audífonos, puede resultar prohibitivo para muchas familias. Por esta razón, en numerosos estados se han promulgado leyes que exigen que los proveedores de seguros cubran el costo de los audífonos para los menores de 21 años. 

Los niños que nacen con una pérdida auditiva carecen de la exposición temprana al sonido y al lenguaje que comienza en el útero. A las 18 semanas, un feto puede oír el latido del corazón de su madre y a las 27 semanas, su voz. Afortunadamente, en los EE. UU. a la mayoría de los bebés se les realiza actualmente un cribado auditivo al nacer. Con una identificación temprana, a los bebés se les puede equipar con audífonos en las primeras semanas de vida, lo que les permite tener acceso a los sonidos que no oían antes de que se les detectara la pérdida auditiva. Con el apoyo de la intervención temprana facilitada por profesionales con formación en lenguaje hablado y escucha, pueden desarrollar unas habilidades de lenguaje y habla similares a las de sus compañeros con una audición normal. Por este motivo, el tener acceso a una cobertura de seguro para audífonos puede suponer una gran diferencia para estos niños. 

Estados con leyes de seguro de audífonos 

Desde 2002, 23 estados han promulgado leyes que exigen que los proveedores de seguros cubran el costo de los audífonos infantiles. Si bien la legislación estatal varía en cuanto a la cantidad de la cobertura proporcionada, la frecuencia de la cobertura y la edad máxima de los niños que están cubiertos, para las familias que residen en estos estados esta cobertura de seguro es una ventaja significativa.  

Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Luisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Nueva Jersey​, Nuevo México, Carolina del norte, Oklahoma, Oregón, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas y Wisconsin disponen de leyes de seguro. Se puede conocer la cobertura específica de cada uno de estos estados visitando el sitio web State Hearing Aid Insurance Laws (Leyes estatales de seguros de audífonos). Además de facilitar información básica sobre la cobertura del seguro, se proporcionan enlaces a la legislación.  

Actualmente, otros siete estados tienen legislación pendiente. Estos estados son: Arizona, Florida, Hawái, Mississippi, Nueva York, Carolina del Sur, Dakota del Sur y Vermont. Varios de estos estados han intentado en repetidas ocasiones, aunque sin éxito, aprobar leyes de seguros para audífonos infantiles.  

¿Le beneficiaría esta cobertura? En caso afirmativo, ¡los legisladores deben saberlo! Descubra quién le representa en su estado aquí. Escriba su dirección postal, incluida la ciudad, el estado y el código postal, y recibirá los nombres y los enlaces de los legisladores de su estado. Póngase en contacto con ellos por correo electrónico o por teléfono y solicíteles que apoyen la aprobación de la ley de seguro de audífonos. Haga referencia en su mensaje al número de la propuesta de ley, que puede encontrar utilizando los enlaces anteriores.  

¡Su voz marca la diferencia! Asegúrese de que se oiga. 

 

 

 

 

 

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