Health insurance; mandated coverage for hearing aids for minors. (HB1594)

Introduced By

Del. Josh Cole (D-Stafford) with support from co-patrons Del. Alex Askew (D-Virginia Beach), Del. Ken Plum (D-Reston), Sen. Bill DeSteph (R-Virginia Beach), and Sen. Scott Surovell (D-Mount Vernon)

Progress

Introduced
Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law

Description

Health insurance; mandated coverage for hearing aids for minors. Requires health insurers, health maintenance organizations, and corporations providing health care coverage subscription contracts to provide coverage for hearing aids and related services for children 18 years of age or younger when a licensed audiologist prescribes such hearing aids and related services. The coverage includes one hearing aid per hearing-impaired ear, up to a cost of $1,500, every 24 months. The measure applies to policies, contracts, and plans delivered, issued for delivery, or renewed on and after January 1, 2021. Read the Bill »

Outcome

Bill Has Failed

History

DateAction
01/15/2020Committee
01/15/2020Presented and ordered printed 20105878D
01/15/2020Referred to Committee on Labor and Commerce
01/23/2020Impact statement from SCC (HB1594)
01/31/2020Assigned L & C sub: Subcommittee #2
02/04/2020House subcommittee amendments and substitutes offered
02/04/2020Subcommittee recommends continuing to 2021
02/06/2020Continued to 2021 in Labor and Commerce
02/17/2020Impact statement from SCC (HB1594)
02/21/2020Impact statement from SCC (HB1594)

Duplicate Bills

The following bills are identical to this one: SB423.

Comments

Teresa Robinson Irwin writes:

The Virginia Society of Hearing Aid Specialists will oppose this bill as written. I object to coverage ONLY PRESCRIBED by an AUDIOLOGIST. Hearing aids are DISPENSED AND FITTED NOT PRESCRIBED. Only a licensed HEARING AID SPECIALIST can dispense and fit a hearing aid under Virginia law.

This bill as written would restrict access to hearing aids that would be covered under health insurance to an Audiologist who also holds a license to dispense hearing aids. This would be a burden to families who don't have access to an Audiologist. The bill should include ALL LICENSED HEARING AID SPECIALISTS as this is the appropriate person to dispense and fit a hearing aids. FDA and Virginia law require children to be seen by a physician before purchasing hearing aids. Virginia law requires children see by an ENT physician before their first hearing aid fitting to make sure all medical concerns are addressed prior to the fitting. Adding the requirement to also have to see an Audiologist adds an additional barrier to the delivery of services to minors. I would be happy to discuss this further with the patron to amend this bill to wording that the Virginia Society of Hearing Aid Specialists could support for the benefit of all children of Virginia.

Teresa Robinson Irwin, MS, A.C.A., BC-HIS
Board Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist
Virginia Society of Hearing Aid Specialists

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