Health insurance; mandated coverage for hearing aids for minors. (SB423)

Introduced By

Sen. Bill DeSteph (R-Virginia Beach) with support from co-patron Del. Josh Cole (D-Stafford)

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 »

Status

02/14/2020: In Subcommittee

History

DateAction
01/07/2020Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/08/20 20102201D
01/07/2020Referred to Committee on Commerce and Labor
01/20/2020Reported from Commerce and Labor with amendment (15-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/20/2020Rereferred to Finance and Appropriations
01/21/2020Impact statement from SCC (SB423)
01/28/2020Reported from Finance and Appropriations (15-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/29/2020Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/30/2020Read second time
01/30/2020Reading of amendment waived
01/30/2020Committee amendment agreed to
01/30/2020Engrossed by Senate as amended SB423E
01/30/2020Printed as engrossed 20102201D-E
01/31/2020Read third time and passed Senate (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/04/2020Impact statement from SCC (SB423E)
02/13/2020Placed on Calendar
02/13/2020Read first time
02/13/2020Referred to Committee on Labor and Commerce
02/14/2020Assigned L & C sub: Subcommittee #2

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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