Michigan House Bill 4944 and 4963 are integral components of a collaborative legislative initiative aimed at providing comprehensive hearing healthcare coverage for children in Michigan. The bills highlight the necessity of early intervention and access to hearing services, making it easier for families. Join us to raise awareness and advocate for these bills to pass in Michigan!
On 10/19/2023 the House Insurance Committee took testimony on House Bill 4944 & 4963 and the testimonies were very well received. On 10/27/2023 at 9AM (tentatively) House Bills 4944 and 4963 will be voted on by the House Insurance Committee Members. If approved, they will then go to the House floor to be voted on by the House.
If you support these bills, we urge you to send a short personalized email of support to your House representative. Members need to know their constituents support the bills. For additional information please visit: https://letmichildhear.me/
The Michigan Audiology Coalition legislative committee suggests using the below email language:
Dear *INSERT NAME*,
I am an audiologist who provides hearing and balance health care. *INSERT PERSONAL DETAILS/EXPERIENCE*
Today, insurances are not required to cover hearing aids or the related services for infants and children with hearing loss in the state of Michigan. As you can imagine, receiving the news of a diagnosis of hearing loss in young children can be devastating for families. Finding out that the hearing technology and services they need to treat the hearing loss are not covered by their insurance policy is add frustration and barrier to care. I am writing you to request that you support and vote for two bills: HB4944 & HB4963 which would require insurance companies to provide coverage for hearing aids and related services in the state of Michigan.
Hearing loss in early childhood is a neurodevelopmental emergency. Without access to clear sound, children with hearing loss do not have the same access to incidental learning in their environment. Development of speech and language skills is an ongoing process through childhood but most critically in the birth to 3 age group. Untreated hearing loss can result in speech impairment, lower literacy levels, lower academic achievement, put children at risk of behavioral concerns, has been associated with bullying and social isolation, and can cause other detrimental neurodevelopmental consequences. Comparatively, children who receive early diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss often achieve academic success and literacy levels on par with their normal hearing peers. Providing access to quality services and technology from a state licensed audiologist will allow these children every opportunity to achieve success in their education and later in their careers. Furthermore, it may offset the significant cost of special education services and later occupational accommodations.
I am happy to discuss further or provide references to support what I have mentioned here should it be helpful to you. Please feel free to email me or call *INSERT CONTACT INFORMATION*.
*INSERT NAME AND CREDENTIALS*