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BILL TO HELP WITH HEARING INTRODUCED

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Iowans needing hearing aids and other adaptive technology know that the costs are often very high and not covered by private insurance, particularly for growing kids who may need them replaced more frequently.  Rep. Norlin Mommsen of DeWitt has introduced a bill (HF 2178) that requires insurance companies to pay for pediatric hearing aids, including fittings and ear molds. The coverage is limited to one new hearing aid every three years, but insurers cannot set higher copays and deductibles.  

Several legislators introduced another bill (HF 2141) aimed at providing more consumer protection and information on telecoil devices that work with hearing aides.  Telecoils are also called "T-Switches" or "T-Coils"; they are compatible with the Assistive Listening Systems that churches, movie theaters, auditoriums, and sports stadiums use to comply with the American with DIsabilities Act (ADA). So if you have a telecoil equipped hearing aid, then you can hear the magnetic signal in these venues, and can hear a lot better than traditional sound systems.  

Senator Rob Hogg of Cedar Rapids has also introduced legislation to help identify kids with hearing impairments earlier, and provide parents with resources to address their needs. His bill (SF 2076) requires the Department of Education, Department of Public Health, and the Iowa School for the Deaf to develop language milestones for kids with hearing impairements, select assessement tools, require interventions and education plan changes when a child fails to meet milestones, and requires the development of a parent resource to help in understanding and implementing the child's individualized education plan (IEP).  

If you are interested in these bills, let your legislators know! The first two are assigned to the House Human Resources Committee; the last is assigned to the Senate Education Committee.   Since they have been recently introduced, they do not yet have a subcommittee assigned to them.