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)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


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 an otolaryngologist recommends 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 »


Bill Has Passed


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
02/17/2020Impact statement from SCC (SB423E)
02/18/2020Subcommittee recommends reporting (7-Y 1-N)
02/18/2020Subcommittee recommends referring to Committee on Appropriations
02/20/2020Reported from Labor and Commerce (22-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/20/2020Referred to Committee on Appropriations
02/21/2020Assigned App. sub: Health & Human Resources
02/21/2020Impact statement from SCC (SB423E)
02/28/2020House committee, floor amendments and substitutes offered
02/28/2020Reported from Appropriations with amendments (21-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
03/03/2020Read second time
03/04/2020Read third time
03/04/2020Committee amendments agreed to
03/04/2020Passed by for the day
03/05/2020Read third time
03/05/2020Engrossed by House as amended
03/05/2020Passed House with amendments (95-Y 1-N)
03/05/2020VOTE: Passage (95-Y 1-N) (see vote tally)
03/05/2020Reconsideration of House passage agreed to by House
03/05/2020Passed House with amendments (97-Y 2-N)
03/05/2020VOTE: Passage #2 (97-Y 2-N) (see vote tally)
03/05/2020House amendments rejected by Senate (0-Y 39-N) (see vote tally)
03/05/2020House insisted on amendments
03/05/2020House requested conference committee
03/05/2020Senate acceded to request (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
03/05/2020Conferees appointed by Senate
03/05/2020Senators: DeSteph, Spruill, Deeds
03/05/2020Conferees appointed by House
03/05/2020Delegates: Cole, J.G., Carroll Foy, Fariss
03/07/2020C Amended by conference committee
03/07/2020Conference report agreed to by Senate (38-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
03/08/2020Conference report agreed to by House (91-Y 2-N)
03/08/2020VOTE: Adoption (91-Y 2-N) (see vote tally)
03/18/2020Bill text as passed Senate and House (SB423ER)
03/18/2020Signed by President
03/19/2020Signed by Speaker
03/20/2020Impact statement from SCC (SB423ER)
03/20/2020Enrolled Bill Communicated to Governor on March 20, 2020
03/20/2020G Governor's Action Deadline 11:59 p.m., April 11, 2020
04/10/2020G Approved by Governor-Chapter 1094 (effective 7/1/20)
04/10/2020G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP1094)

Duplicate Bills

The following bills are identical to this one: HB1594.


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