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August 6, 2012

Hearing Aid Bill Would Ease Access


August 6, 2012—(from 22News WWLP) A bill that could change access to hearing aids is awaiting Governor Deval Patrick's signature.

During an informal session yesterday, Beacon Hill lawmakers rallied behind a bill that would require insurance companies to pay for hearing aids for all children and young adults under 21.

Currently, hearing aids are an out-of-pocket cost for parents and prices can range around $2,500 per ear. Bill Corwin is the president of the Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech. He told 22News access to sound from an early age is critical and the passing of the bill would bridge a gap.

Corwin said, “The fact that there are many families who can't get kind of hearing aids for their kids because it's an out of pocket expense right now really results in limitations for those kids in terms of getting access to sound.”

Critics of the bill say the measure increases the cost of health insurance for small employers.

Eighteen other states including Rhode Island and New Hampshire require insurance companies to pay for hearing aids.

Read the story on WWLP.com.

TRANSCRIPT

A bill that could change access to hearing aids is awaiting Governor Deval Patrick's signature. 22 News Reporter Anaridis Rodriguez spoke with the President of a local Hearing and Speech school who says the bill comes at a critical time.

Rodriguez: During an informal session yesterday Beacon Hill lawmakers rallied behind a bill that would require insurance companies to pay for hearing aids for children and all young adults under the age of 21. Currently hearing aids are an out-of-pocket cost for parents and prices can range around $2,500 per ear.

Rodriguez: Bill Corwin is the president of the Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech in Northampton. He told 22News access to sound from an early age is critical and the passing of the bill would bridge a gap.

Corwin: The fact that there are many families who can't get kind of hearing aids for their kids because it's an out of pocket expense right now really results in limitations for those kids in terms of getting access to sound.

Rodriguez: Critics of the bill say the measure increases the cost of health insurance for small employers. Eighteen other states including Rhode Island and New Hampshire require insurance companies to pay for hearing aids.

Rodriguez: Live in Northampton, Anaridis Rodriguez 22News.