The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law in March 2010 by President Barack Obama. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the law’s goal is to make health insurance available and affordable to people and small groups, such as employees of small businesses and organizations, who are uninsured. While some provisions of the law have already taken effect, many more provisions will be implemented in the coming years.
Health insurance coverage for hearing aids, cochlear implants or other implantable devices is not a given. Medicare does not cover the cost of hearing aids, but does cover cochlear implants and related services. Medicaid covers the cost of hearing health care products and services in some states for qualifying individuals, but in other states little or nothing is covered. Federal employees are able to choose a health care plan that includes hearing heath care. But many private health insurance plans do not include coverage for hearing health care. For that reason, advocates in 18 states have spent countless hours working on and have succeeded in getting local legislation that provides for coverage of hearing aids. Clearly, there are still large gaps in hearing health care coverage.
View information about State Hearing Health Insurance Mandates.
People with hearing loss of all ages and those with speech disabilities will benefit from two bills Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed into law August 3, 2012. Governor Markell is Chair of the National Governor’s Association (NGA) and has made employment of people with disabilities his major project with the NGA.