The Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is the principal agency in the Commonwealth for enabling Deaf, late-deafened, DeafBlind and hard of hearing people full participation in all areas of life. This is accomplished through efforts to facilitate effective public policy, provision of technical assistance, offering specialized services, advocacy, and public education.
This month we are pleased to introduce Debra Lobsitz, Information and Referral Specialist from the Commission to share her expertise and personal experience at the Commission.
As the Information and Referral Specialist, I try to provide people with up to date information on topics of interest to the people we serve. Most recently, The Children’s Hearing Aid Bill – Chapter 233 of the Acts of 2012 (HB 52) was implemented. As of January 1, 2013, on the date of renewal for your medical insurance, hearing aids for children must be covered by your medical insurance. There have been several questions about the details and I want to address some that are most frequently asked.
Who is covered?
Children 21 years old or younger with fully insured medical plans. Self-funded/self-insured plans are not required to conform to this legislation. Here is a list of self-insured employers in Massachusetts.
What is covered?
Expenses up to $2,000 for one hearing aid per ear requiring a device are covered every 36 months. In addition to that, the initial evaluation, fittings, adjustments, and supplies are also covered. Batteries are considered supplies.
Where can I find more information?
The Massachusetts Hearing Aids for Children Coalition or MassHAFCC , a grassroots statewide network that focused on the passage of the Bill provides a blog. This blog offers guidance on what steps to take if coverage is denied.
Topics for the upcoming weeks will include improvements in our educational system for Deaf and hard of hearing students, a personal account of receiving a cochlear implant, and technological solutions for communication access.
Join us in the weeks ahead to learn more.