Every child in the United States is screened for hearing loss shortly after birth.
But if a child has a problem, hearing aids or cochlear implants often aren’t covered by insurance. Parents are told they’re cosmetic.
Oregon House Bill 41-04 requires that insurance companies cover hearing aids for kids.
Bob Joondeph with Disability Rights Oregon said there’s a limited window of time when the brain can wire for auditory input. “If a young child can hear, they can develop normal language, which means they can have a better chance of succeeding in school and in life,” he said.
Hearing aids are often more expensive for children because they need to be changed as they grow.
The bill has passed both the state House and Senate.
Governor Kate Brown has yet to sign the bill.