Thursday, February 21, 2013

Let Our Children Hear

Great post by our friend Heather Segars at "The Not So Super Mama" Blog:

"Did you know that hearing aids aren’t covered by insurance in most states? Did you know that hearing aids cost about $2500 each and need to be replaced every 3-5 years, especially for children?  [...]
"These costs add up quickly for families of children with hearing loss, especially when you are paying for other therapies and issues that your child might be dealing with."
"We have the best insurance out there, and none of this is covered."
Please read the full post on her blog:

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Don't let HB 1356 get the ax!

Dear Supporters,
We have been waiting anxiously for a committee hearing on HB 1356, which is the first step any legislation must go through before it can go before the House for a vote. If a hearing is not scheduled by Friday, February 22nd, the bill will be effectively dead for this 2013 legislative session.
We urgently need every one of our supporters to contact the Health & Wellness Committee members ASAP!

Please urge Committee Chair, Eileen Cody, and other members of the Health & Wellness Committee to allow a hearing on this critical legislation. Thank you!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Economic and Business Perspective

In 2012, Massachusetts became the 20th state to require insurers to cover hearing aids for children. Their legislation would serve as an excellent model for Washington and any other state looking to pass this type of legislation.

Image Source: Wikipedia
However, the discussion of politics is often inevitable when it comes to any type of mandate or requirements for insurance coverage--especially considering the debate and controversy surrounding the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Regardless of your political persuasion, you may appreciate a business person's perspective on why a hearing aid mandate (at least for children) is a good thing:

"Health care reform opponents hate the idea of mandated benefits. From a free market purist’s standpoint it’s a bad idea to tell health insurers what they need to include in their products because it will tend to drive up costs and interfere with the ability of suppliers to meet market demand. This opposition to mandated benefits is a major reason that so many in the GOP are enamored of the idea of allowing health plans to sell policies across state lines."

"As someone with an undergraduate degree in economics and an MBA, I really and truly do understand this free market argument and am sympathetic to it. But it’s important to take more than free market orthodoxy into account when making policy decisions..."

Read more at:

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Legislature introduces online commenting system

From the Seattle Times Blog by Amelia Dickinson:
Citizens have another way to interact with their legislators thanks to a new online commenting system launched last week.
Instead of having to determine which legislators serve their district and tracking down an email address or phone number, constituents can simply click a “comment on this bill” link on the bill’s webpage. They will be directed to a page where they can input their email and home addresses. The website automatically will determine the constituent’s district and send a message to the corresponding legislators.
If you feel as strongly as we do that hearing loss is a condition that deserves covered treatment and that people (especially children) with hearing loss should have some form of insurance coverage for hearing aids, then please click below:

Link to comment on HB 1356:

Monday, February 4, 2013

We need your help!

Help us get House Bill 1356 moving forward!

Hearing loss is a medical condition that deserves insurance coverage in the same way that diabetes or any other illness would typically be covered for treatment. This is especially true when it comes to children. Any delays in getting hearing aids for a child in need could mean the difference between a child going into the mainstream classroom or possibly needing Special Education services.

We know so much about preventive medicine today, but why don't we implement it?

Washington state has always been a very innovative and forward-thinking state. Unfortunately, recent examples would indicate otherwise... In 2011, adults on Medicaid are no longer covered for a single hearing aid. In 2013, the majority of children with hearing loss on their family's private insurance plan are still unlikely to be provided with any form of coverage for hearing aids.

Please help us send the message to Olympia that hearing loss is a condition that deserves coverage for treatment. Please contact your legislator today!