AUGUSTA, MAINE — Last year, a state legislator in Maine proposed a bill the state require insurance plans to cover hearing aids for people of all ages. The legislation, proposed by Representative Jim Handy, a Democrat from Lewiston, directs insurance plans to provide coverage for at least $3,000 per hearing aid to individuals that need them.
The bill, which had backing by groups like AARP Maine, Seniors Plus, and Disability Rights Maine, went on to receive unanimous bipartisan support of the Insurance and Financial Affairs Committee last week and passed through both the House and Senate.
However, when the bill arrived on governor LePage’s desk, he vetoed the bill.
State Rep. Calls for Veto Override
According to Handy, who introduced the bill in 2017, experts have placed estimates at less than 47 cents per month per policy to provide the new coverage.
In an Op-Ed published today in the Sun Journal, Rep. Heidi Brooks says she believes the legislature should override the governor’s veto:
“Hearing loss is a medical condition, and its proven, effective treatment should be a covered by health insurance plans. But without passing LD 192 into law, access to hearing aids will remain out of reach for too many. Lawmakers should override the governor’s veto so more Mainers with hearing loss can access the medical devices they need and deserve.”
–Rep. Heidi Brooks, D-Lewiston
Source: Sun Journal; image courtesy thehill