senate Bill S529A

Requires all insurance policies to provide a certain amount of coverage for hearing aids

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Sponsor

Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 07 / Jan / 2009
    • REFERRED TO INSURANCE
  • 05 / Mar / 2009
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO INSURANCE
  • 05 / Mar / 2009
    • PRINT NUMBER 529A
  • 06 / Jan / 2010
    • REFERRED TO INSURANCE

Summary

Requires all health insurance policies to provide insurance coverage for the cost of hearing aids; provides that such coverage shall include coverage of at least $1,000 over a three year period; provides that children under the age of sixteen are allowed reimbursement for expenses related to the purchase of up to two hearing aids.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A5243
Versions:
S529
S529A
Legislative Cycle:
2009-2010
Current Committee:
Senate Insurance
Law Section:
Insurance Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยงยง3216, 3221 & 4303, Ins L
Versions Introduced in 2007-2008 Legislative Cycle:
S171A, A4731A

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER: S529A

TITLE OF BILL :
An act to amend the insurance law, in relation to providing coverage
for hearing aids


PURPOSE :
To provide insurance coverage for hearing aids so that patients who
need these devices may affordably update their hearing aids on a two
or three year basis depending on the age of the patient.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS :
This bill would require health insurance companies in New York State
to cover significant portions of the costs related to the acquisition
of hearing aids. Such hearing aids would be purchased from registered
New York State hearing aid dispensers and licensed audiologists.

Insured hearing impaired consumers, 16 years of age and older, would
be able to receive a reimbursement of $1,000 every three years for the
costs associated with the purchase of up to two hearing aids and other
related expenses.

Hearing impaired children, 15 years of age and younger, would be able
to have a reimbursement of $1,000 for services related to the purchase
of up to two hearing aids every two years provided that their
conditions have severely deteriorated and that their existing hearing
aids no longer will be able to assist them.

EXISTING LAW :
None.

JUSTIFICATION :
Currently, many insurance companies in New York State do not provide
coverage for the purchase of hearing aids. Middle class family members
and senior citizens often cannot afford to pay the expenses related to
obtaining these devices. New York will now be joining many other
states (New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, Virginia...etc.) that have
similar proposals before their respective legislatures.

There are an estimated 28 million Americans who have some form of
hearing loss and only 20% take the essential steps needed to correct
the situation. One of the major obstacles that prevent people with
hearing loss from taking measures to improve their circumstances is
the extremely high prices of hearing aids. Suggested retail costs of
one hearing aid can range from $1,000 to $4,500.

This legislation would alleviate some of the financial burdens and
remove some economic barriers on our working families and the elderly
when attempting to purchase one of these necessary hearing enhancement
devices.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY :
2007-2008 - Insurance

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS :
To be determined.

EFFECTIVE DATE :
This act shall take effect July 1, 2011 and shall apply to all
policies issued, modified or renewed on and after such date.
view bill text
The Bill text is not available.

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