The SAA’s advocacy updates are designed to provide key updates regarding advocacy news and initiatives as identified from the SAA Public Outreach Committee. We know everyone is busy, so we’ve specially formatted the information to be a quick and easy way to get the information that is most relevant to you so you can get out there and advocate! Download a PDF version of the most recent newsletter or scroll down to read the latest update! Past advocacy updates can be found at the bottom of the web page.
Sponsored by Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI), H.R. 1118 was introduced February 18, 2021, and is a bill to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act. As the Social Security Act currently stands with Medicare acting as a secondary payor, hearing aids and related examinations are not covered expenses. This bill would remove this exclusion.
Sponsored by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), S 826 was introduced on March 18, 2021. The bill would amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to establish a Medicare payment option for patients and eligible professionals to freely contract, without penalty, for Medicare fee-for-service items and services, while allowing Medicare beneficiaries to use their Medicare benefits.
Advocacy in Action
Currently, private insurance plans in Missouri (MO) are only required to provide one pair of hearing aids for children from birth to 18 years of age. Veronica Zieba, third-year AuD student at Washington University, and Kay Park, AuD, testified before the MO House in support of Senate Bill 43 (SB43), which requires private health insurance plans to cover, at a minimum, the equivalent of MO Medicaid coverage. MO Medicaid covers top quality hearing aids for children under 18 every five years.
The bill was recently amended to include many pediatric-related provisions (HB432), has passed in the House and Senate, and is expected to be signed by Governor Parsons.
“Instrumental in the passage of this bill was in-person testimony of two parents of deaf/hard-of-hearing children and 10-year-old Luke who spoke eloquently about the importance of his hearing aids. These were two of the four families whose testimonies we were able to record and forward to the Senate and House members prior to the hearings. I don’t think this would have passed without them.” -Kay Park, AuD
For more information regarding SAA and advocacy, or for questions, comments, and suggestions, contact: Megan Tice firstname.lastname@example.org.