ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — Members with Lets Amplify NY and lawmakers are pushing to pass legislation that would require insurance companies to cover costs of hearing aids for children.
Currently, insurance companies in New York may cover the costs of hearing exams but are not required to cover the costs of hearing aids. Typically, they can run anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000 and need to be replaced every two to three years.
Research shows that when a child has untreated hearing loss they can suffer with poor socialization and communication as well as delayed language acquisition.
Advocates say only 10% of families with children who are hearing impaired follow up for diagnosis and proper management partially because of financial concerns.
A recent study around 50% of impacted families received some reimbursement for hearing aids. Rosemary Queenan has two hearing impaired children. She’s paid upward of $40,000 for their hearing aids.
“And this is a necessity. It is a medical device that is necessary. There’s many things that are covered, there seems to be no reason why hearing aids that are medically prescribed should not be covered. We are paying the insurance premiums and we should get the benefit,” she said.
Advocates are turning to the state because they say insurance companies have failed to act on their own.