BOISE, IDAHO – The Idaho legislature, House Business Committee, has approved a rule change requiring insurers in the state “to cover medically necessary hearing aids and speech therapy sessions” for Idaho children who are deaf or hard of hearing.
According to the announcement, the proposed rule change passed the committee unanimously.
Insurers must now cover new hearing aids every three years, in addition to 45 hours of speech therapy during the first year after devices are fit. According to estimates, there are approximately 1,000 children in the state that would benefit from the measure.
“Credit for this goes to the dedicated mothers and doctors who brought this issue to our attention and fought for the change. Our state got a little bit stronger today because these kids are going to get the help they need in order to thrive”
–Rep. Ilana Rubel (D-Boise), HCR 45 sponsor
According to Rep. Rubel, the change will not only provide financial relief to families, but will save taxpayers money. “These kids are smart and talented but are often put into costly remedial classes or assigned to school specialists simply because they can’t hear. Now they will have access to proper hearing devices. Today’s vote could be a game-changer for a lot of Idaho families.”