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Private insurance doesn't cover costs for children's hearing aids

Parents, community leaders and the Idaho Department of Insurance gathered for a second public hearing to find a solution.

BOISE — The gift of hearing is a gift that some of us might take for granted.

For some children in Idaho, the gift of hearing can come with a hefty price tag.

Right now, private insurance does not cover the cost for most hearing aids needed for children, who are either hard of hearing or deaf.

But there could soon be help!

Last year, state Rep. Ilana Rubel, along with other community leaders and parents, got a resolution passed in the Legislature directing the Idaho Department of Insurance to work with insurers to find a solution.

“I’m really optimistic that it'll help everyone in society and these kids,” Rubel said.

On Thursday, the Department of Insurance held a second public hearing on the issue.

“We're hopeful that we've found the solution and we can help children,” Dean Cameron, Idaho Department of Insurance Director said.

If all parties agree to the language, the rule change will then be presented to Idaho Legislature to accept or reject.

Gretchen Fors recently moved from another state and has five children, three of them use hearing aids.

“We moved back to Idaho and the girls needed to get their hearing aids replaced and the bill was going to be about $22,000,” Fors said.

Gretchen received grants to help pay that bill, but it didn't cover everything.

“To look at a bill of $22,000 every three years for three kids. it's a little bit daunting,” Fors said.

“One of my deaf mentors here in Idaho told me, the only thing a deaf person can’t do is hear and they can do anything else and if you remember that then you know getting access to this is so important because the only thing they can’t do is hear.”

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