Senator Brown testifies before the Senate Insurance Committee to require insurance companies in Ohio to offer coverage for hearing aids.

Columbus – Today in the Senate Insurance Committee, Senator Edna Brown (D-Toledo) provided sponsor testimony for Senate Bill 98, which requires insurance companies in Ohio to offer coverage for hearing aids, and related services as a rider to basic health plans.
Currently, many insurance plans in Ohio consider hearing aids an elective form of treatment and do not cover them as part of basic health coverage. Without insurance coverage, the out of pocket costs for hearing aids can easily reach into the thousands of dollars.
“Studies have shown that untreated hearing loss is extremely detrimental to a child’s development and may be linked to increased instances of dementia in adults,” said Senator Brown. “SB 98 will help Ohio families receive the much needed treatments for hearing loss which they are currently unable to afford.”
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, 36 million Americans suffer from a loss of hearing, while the Ohio Department of Health reports 3 in 1000 children are born with hearing impairment in Ohio.
“Given the prevalence of hearing loss, the inability of many families to receive proper treatment, and the negative impacts of untreated hearing loss in children and adults, I believe it is time to take action and give Ohioans the resources they need to properly treat this medical condition that is far too often ignored,” Senator Brown said.
According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 20 states mandate some form of insurance coverage for hearing loss services.

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