Resolution passed last year now officially law
The state of Idaho’s House Business Committee unanimously approved a rule change last Thursday to require insurers to cover hearing aids and speech therapy for children who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Insurers must now cover medically necessary hearing aids and speech therapy sessions for Idaho children who are deaf or hard of hearing. With an estimated 1,000 children in the state standing to benefit from the measure, the action is the culmination of work that began last year with passage of HCR 45.
“Credit for this goes to the dedicated mothers and doctors who brought this issue to our attention and fought for the change,” said Rep. Ilana Rubel (D-Boise), who sponsored HCR 45, via a press release. “Our state got a little bit stronger today because these kids are going to get the help they need in order to thrive.”
Insurers must now cover new hearing devices once every three years in addition to a total of up to 45 hours of speech therapy in the first year after a new device is issued. Not only do the children benefit, says Rubel, but Idaho taxpayers as well.
“These kids are smart and talented, but are often put into costly remedial classes or assigned to school specialists simply because they can’t hear. Now they will have access to proper hearing devices. Today’s vote could be a game-changer for a lot of Idaho families.”