Parents, Lawmakers Want Health Insurance To Cover Children's Hearing Aids

Jun 7, 2019

Democratic lawmakers are trying to pass a bill that would require health insurance companies provide coverage for children’s hearing aids. Hearing aids, which advocates say can help their children learn and develop, is currently treated as a cosmetic device by many plans.

Nadia Greenhalgh-Stanley couldn’t believe it when she discovered her daughter Madeline’s hearing aids weren’t covered by their insurance company because they were considered cosmetic.

“To hear that something so medically necessary and so necessary for educational development and everything was treated as Botox was shocking and appalling,” Greenhalgh-Stanley said.

A bill from state Reps. Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) and Casey Weinstein (D-Hudson) would require insurers to cover up to $2,500 for each hearing aid.

Carrie Spangler, an audiologist and educational advocate, says children with hearing loss can experience a lot of challenges at school.

“So if we don’t provide the foundational tool of hearing aids which would amplify that sound, in addition to the supports that they need for education, they’re going to miss 70-80% of their academic instruction. Which is huge,” Spangler said.

Russo and Weinstein say this will help the state avoid other medical and educational expenses. The bill has received some bipartisan support.