Senator Brown Gives Sponsor Testimony On Bill To Provide Insurance Coverage For Hearing Aids
An estimated 20% of Americans suffer from hearing loss
February 04, 2014
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Columbus – Today in the Senate Insurance and Financial Institutions Committee, State Senator Edna Brown (D-Toledo) provided sponsor testimony for Senate Bill 257; a bill that will require insurance companies in Ohio to offer coverage for hearing aids and related services.
Currently, many insurance plans in Ohio consider hearing aids an “elective” form of treatment and do not cover them as part of basic health coverage. Without insurance coverage, the out of pocket costs for hearing aids can easily reach into the thousands of dollars.
“The high costs of hearing aids are a significant barrier that can often prevent someone from receiving proper treatment,” said Senator Brown. “At the same time, studies have consistently shown that untreated hearing loss has serious negative consequences on children and adults alike.”
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, 36 million Americans suffer from a loss of hearing, which includes an estimated 17 to 20 percent of the adult population. Based on statistics from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 5.4 percent of school aged children suffer from hearing loss.
“Given the prevalence of hearing loss, the inability of many families to receive proper treatment, and the negative impacts of untreated hearing loss in children and adults, I believe it is time to take action and give Ohioans the resources they need to properly treat this medical condition that is far too often ignored,” Senator Brown added.
At this time, 20 states mandate some form of insurance coverage for hearing loss services.

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