Friday, January 10, 2014

Improve the Lives of WA Hearing Impaired Children

We Need Your Help!

Last year, WA introduced a bill to authorize hearing aid coverage. Unfortunately, due to healthcare issues (i.e., the Affordable Care Act), our legislators were too afraid to take this bill out of committee despite growing support and pleas by parents and families.

Know the Facts:

Each year in the state of Washington, approximately 200-250 babies are born with permanent hearing loss. Approximately 90-95% of these children could benefit form the use of hearing aids.

Image: Siemens Hearing Instruments
Unfortunately for many Washington families, the vast majority of private insurance plans  specifically exclude  hearing aids from being covered. 

In a tough economy, WA families are left searching to find a way to pay for these devices for their children (which on average cost $2000/ear or more) and many are forced to decide whether they have to use state Medicaid benefits in order to afford them due to the high cost and need for replacement every 3 to 5 years.

Studies have shown that children with hearing loss who do not receive early intervention cost WA schools (taxpayers) an additional $420,000 on average in special education costs alone. Yet, requiring private insurance plans to provide some degree of hearing aid coverage often costs less than a dollar per year. 

We need your help to ensure Washington becomes the next state to require health benefit plans to provide some form of hearing aid coverage for children. Here's a few ways you can help:

1) Sign our online petition.

2) Write your state legislator(s). A simple letter or brief email can make a huge impact upon our decision-makers in Olympia. A sample letter can be found here.

3) Like our Facebook page. Follow us on Twitter @WCHAA1.

Your support of Washington's hearing impaired children is truly appreciated!

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