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New rules require insurers to cover hearing aids for Idaho children


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The following is a news release from the Idaho House of Representatives.

BOISE – The Idaho House Business Committee approved a rule change this week that will require insurers to cover medically necessary hearings aids and speech therapy sessions for Idaho children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

There are an estimated 1,000 children in the state who will benefit from the measure. Thursday’s action is the culmination of work that began in 2018 with the passage of HCR 45. The resolution called on the State Department of Insurance to investigate the issue and consider a change in the rules.

“Credit for this goes to the dedicated mothers and doctors who brought this issue to our attention and fought for the change,” said Rep. Ilana Rubel (D-Boise) who sponsored HCR 45. “Our state got a little bit stronger today because these kids are going to get the help they need in order to thrive”

Under the new rules, insurers must cover new hearing devices once every three years as well as 45 hours of speech therapy during the first year after a device is delivered. Rubel says the rule change not only brings much-needed relief to Idaho families, but it will also save taxpayers money.

“These kids are smart and talented but are often put into costly remedial classes or assigned to school specialists simply because they can’t hear. Now they will have access to proper hearing devices. Today’s vote could be a game-changer for a lot of Idaho families.”

The proposed rule change passed the committee unanimously. A link to the new rule is here.