BOSTON—After several years of lobbying by the Massachusetts Hearing Aids for Children Coalition and other advocates, a bill was signed into law by Gov. Deval Patrick yesterday (August 7) that will make hearing aids more affordable for parents of hard-of-hearing children in Massachusetts.
The new law, “An Act to Provide Access to Hearing Aids for Children,” requires that private insurers in the state cover up to $2000 of the cost for each hearing aid needed by a child every three years.
The bill covers all minors up to age 21. A state study estimated that the mandate would result in an increase of 2 to 7 cents per month for health insurance policy premiums. About 150 of the babies born in Massachusetts each year are diagnosed with hearing loss that requires treatment with hearing aids.
Approximately 20 states in the country, including all six in New England, have passed such laws.