Insurance coverage

Committee approves Polistina bill expanding insurance coverage for hearing aids and cochlear implants

State-regulated health insurers may soon be required to cover hearing aids and cochlear implants for people under 21 thanks to legislation sponsored by Sen. Vince Polistina and approved today by the Senate Commerce Committee .

State-regulated health insurers may soon be required to cover hearing aids and cochlear implants for people under 21 thanks to legislation sponsored by Sen. Vince Polistina and approved today by the Senate Commerce Committee . (Pixabay)

“No child or young adult should be left without access to medically necessary hearing aids or, in some cases, cochlear implants,” Polistina (R-2) said. “These devices are essential in the treatment of hearing loss and are particularly important during the formative years when young people are developing the skills to communicate effectively. My legislation will ensure that insurance companies provide adequate benefits and cover so that everyone under the age of 21 can reach their full development and potential.

The Polistina bill, S-2535modifies the “Law of Grace”, S-467, which was signed into law in 2008 by Acting Governor Richard Cody. Named after Grace Gleba, who championed hearing-impaired children, “Grace’s Law” requires all state health insurers to cover medically necessary hearing aids for children 15 and under.

S-2535 would extend coverage for hearing aids to people 21 and under and require coverage for cochlear implants.

Polistina’s legislation was inspired by Francesco Maione and his sister Maria, who both have cochlear implants.

“My sister and I use our cochlear implants at school, at home, and in virtually every aspect of our lives. The only problem is that they are very expensive. Although the insurance company may cover the cost of surgery for the initial implant, it usually doesn’t cover maintenance after the device warranty expires,” Francesco said. “It’s also a fight to get insurance to reimburse you once you pay out of your pocket. When my sister and I needed a new external implant, my parents had to open a credit card and pay $15,000, which is not easy for a family of six. is why cochlear implants should be fully covered by insurance for everyone under 21.