Message from President Lisa Christensen, AuD
The Good Morning America news program today featured a segment highlighting the issue of children’s hearing aids and the fact that many insurance plans do not cover these devices in the absence of a state requirement that they do so. Currently, 25 states mandate insurance coverage (NE bill signed on May 30), and legislation is still pending in five states. Existing mandated coverage ranges from $1000-$4000 per aid within a time period of 24 months up to 5 years; some states have no price limit and simply cover hearing aids.
The Academy was pleased to provide background data for this news segment, as well as an interview with the Academy’s Senior Director of Government Relations, Susan Pilch. As president of the Academy, and also the parent of a child with hearing loss, I recognize the significance of these state bills. The health care system can absorb the cost of hearing loss on the front end with treatment coverage for children or instead will have increased costs over the life of the individual through diminished earning capacity and potential for hearing-related comorbidities later in life. The spotlight on this by Good Morning America draws attention to the important message that treatment is a medical necessity for the quality of life of the growing number of children with hearing loss and is ultimately a societal cost savings.
I hope that you will take time to check out the video of the segment. The Academy stands ready to be an ongoing resource to the media to promote hearing health care in many different contexts.
Lisa Christensen, AuD
(Twitter handle: @AuDLeadership)
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