State Mandated Hearing Aid Coverage for Children

Last update on Dec, 17, 2018

Mandated hearing aid coverage for children in Illinois

On August 22, 2018, Illinois became the 23rd state requiring health insurance companies to cover prescribed hearing aids for children. The new law, sponsored by State Sen. Julie Morrison and State Rep. Laura Fine, requires health insurers to cover the cost of hearing aids every 36 months for individuals younger than 18 years old. It also mandates coverage for services and repairs related to the hearing aid fitting. 

Illinois joins Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin in requiring some form of hearing aid coverage for children. Details such as ages covered, amount of coverage, benefit period and provider qualifications vary by state. 

The impact of hearing loss on children

The nationwide trend toward mandated hearing aid coverage does not surprise those who are familiar with the impact of hearing loss on children — especially hearing-impaired children themselves.

In fact, two brothers, both with hearing loss, provided inspiration for passage of the Illinois law. “I was three months old when I first got my hearing aids,” 10-year-old Hunter Martin testified before the state’s Senate Insurance Committee. “If I have to go to school without them, I feel like the volume on the school is turned down all the way. I get upset when I have to keep asking people to repeat what they are saying. I feel like I am bothering them. And I feel left out when I don’t hear what other kids hear.”

Hunter is among the nearly 15% of U.S. children ages six to 19 who have some form of hearing loss, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Left untreated, hearing loss can impede a child’s speech, language, cognitive and emotional development. 

Choose the right hearing benefit partner to support you

Today, more than ever, health insurance companies need a partner to help them understand and comply with new laws, regulations and policies related to hearing aid coverage for children. In addition, the partner should offer a proven formula for containing the costs associated with this expanded coverage.

At Amplifon Hearing Health Care, we possess extensive knowledge of the hearing aid industry, health insurance sector and state-specific requirements. We’ve also developed a solid track record for helping health insurers offer cost-effective hearing benefits and for efficiently managing virtually every aspect of a hearing health care program, from member referrals to provider oversight and claims processing.

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