As of January 1, 2012, health insurance companies in Tennessee are required to cover the cost of hearing aids for all children who need them. This will help parents of children who have hearing loss to be able to afford new hearing aids when their child needs them. The new law connects to a previous law that involves determining how well children hear.
Health insurance is strange. In the past, some health insurance companies were refusing to provide coverage to children who had a pre-existing condition. Recently, regulations were made into law that requires all health insurance companies to cover all children, whether they have a pre-existing condition or not.
One would assume that this means that parents could expect to have the medical testing, treatments, and aids that their child had to have, due to his or her special needs, covered. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. In Tennessee, this means that there are children who have hearing loss that were going without the hearing aids they needed. Their parent’s insurance wouldn’t cover the cost of replacement, and their parents couldn’t afford to pay for them out of pocket.
In some ways, hearing aids are like glasses. Most people realize that if your child needs glasses, he or she cannot simply use an old pair that once belonged to their brother or sister. The child needs to have his or her eyes checked, and have specialized prescription lenses crafted for their use, only. Kids also need to have their eyes rechecked periodically, to ensure that the glasses are still the correct ones for the child to use.
The same is true of hearing aids. You cannot purchase one hearing aid when the child is young and expect that it will remain appropriately serviceable forever. Hearing aids are, essentially, small pieces of hardware. Just like computers, they can become obsolete. Therefore, a child will need to have his or her hearing periodically checked, in order for a doctor to determine what type of hearing aid the child needs, or if he or she needs a new one.
A bill in Tennessee was signed into law in May of 2011. Starting in January of 2012, health insurance companies in Tennessee are required to cover the cost of hearing aids for children. They must provide coverage up to $1,000 per hearing aid every three years. This law connects to another new law, that was passed a few years ago. The other law requires that all newborn babies in Tennessee must have their hearing tested.
Like many special needs, early detection is important when it comes to hearing loss. The new insurance regulations will help families in Tennessee be able to afford the hearing aids that their children need.
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