New Illinois Law Provides Funding for Children with Hearing Loss

Rockford — Gov. Bruce Rauner recently signed a landmark health legislation that requires Illinois insurers to cover replacement costs of hearing aids every three years for hard-of-hearing children who are 18 or younger.

This law will ensure that when children grow out of their current hearing aids or break them, insurance companies are required to provide coverage. The law also provides that repairs are covered when deemed medically necessary and provides ear examinations, selection, fitting and adjustment of ear molds when medically necessary.

“At the Center for Sight & Hearing we currently work with over 150 kids who use hearing aids” said Dr. Sarah Filer, AuD. Pediatric Audiology Specialist.  “Hearing aids last about 5 to 7 years, but unfortunately, with kids they don’t last as long. Kids tend to be rougher with the devices and they also grow, which means they need different parts such as ear molds replaced periodically. Until recently, when a child’s insurance benefits did not cover the cost for hearing aids, ear molds, repairs, etc., the families would have to pay out of pocket. This was a huge barrier as it often delayed the hearing process and put extra burdens on families.”

As the area’s Pediatric Hearing Aid specialists, we work closely with local school districts, Early Intervention, UIC Specialized Care for Children, and other agencies and organizations to provide hearing care to children, from infants to young adults. Timely hearing testing, diagnosis, and treatment provide the highest-quality experiences for children which reduces learning barriers at school and behavioral challenges.

Public Act 100-1026 goes into effect immediately upon insurance renewal date or issuance after August 22, 2018.

About the Center for Sight & Hearing

The Center for Sight & Hearing is a private, nonprofit organization serving over 9,000 people each year in the northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin region. CSH provides care for anyone with vision or hearing needs, and specializes in clinical services, rehabilitation therapy programs, and outreach for people with profound vision or hearing loss.