[dbmat] Re: Fwd: HB 2979

  • From: Kellie J Berger <kellie@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: dbmat@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 08 Apr 2015 10:05:51 -0500

we have to start somewhere!!! and when the kids are 18 (if they are studying and/or working) they can apply to DARS to get hearing aids - originally there was talk about just covering dependents ... If we can get this on the books, it will be easier to expand/amend next go round! unfortunately it seems baby steps have to be taken to get anything done.

Thank you for sharing!

/Kellie J Berger/
Texas Hands & Voices
Executive Director
281-773-0107 voice or text
800-921-8948 fax
/“What works for your child is what makes the choice right!”/

/www.txhandsandvoices.org/
/www.facebook.com/TXHandV/

/www.facebook.com/TXHandVSpanish /

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On 4/7/2015 11:17 PM, Heather Withrow wrote:

Now, how about getting hearing aids covered by insurance beyond 18 years old! I didn’t realize hearing aids weren’t covered or covered well enough for kids, too, in Texas. That would be a good place to start making this possible.

Heather Withrow
www.heatherwithrow.com <http://www.heatherwithrow.com>
Twitter: @hexsie

On Apr 7, 2015, at 2:50 PM, paul welch <pwelch@xxxxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:pwelch@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>> wrote:



Sent from my iPhone

Begin forwarded message:

*From:* Edgenie Bellah <bellahe@xxxxxxxxx <mailto:bellahe@xxxxxxxxx>>
*Date:* April 7, 2015 at 12:51:52 PM CDT
*To:* Paul and Susie Welch <pwelch@xxxxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:pwelch@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>>, Kathi Barksdale <kathi@xxxxxxxxxx <mailto:kathi@xxxxxxxxxx>>
*Subject:* *Fwd: HB 2979*

Another legislative issue that is important to DBMAT and Texas Chargers families. Tis the season, huh?
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: *Kellie J Berger* <kellie@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:kellie@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>>
Date: Tue, Apr 7, 2015 at 11:23 AM
Subject: HB 2979
To:


Hi everyone!

I wanted to send you a quick email to make sure you were aware of House Bill 2979 http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/Text.aspx?LegSess=84R&Bill=HB2979

Texas HB 2979 has been introduced to require private insurance to cover hearing aids for children through age 18. It is backed by Texas Academy of Audiology butthis bill will need co-sponsors and a strong parent voice to pass! Would you please share this with your families? We believe there will be a hearing in mid April on this bill. We are hoping to have 3 or 4 parents testify and have many many more show up in support and/or share written testimony. If you know of anyone who would co-sponsor, or show up please encourage them to do so! I will let you know as soon as I do when a date for hearing is set.

Right now it is very basic coverage - TAA believes that this is the best way to get it passed and then they/we can try to get it amended in future years.
My understanding is this will amount to approximately $1000/hearing aid (unbundled) per ear every 3 years and this will be covered even if deductibles have not been met. It says it will also cover related services and supplies. (per the current benchmark plan - BCBS PPO)

I don't know what your plan offers - but mine currently does not cover ANYTHING for hearing aids (beyond the diagnostics to say that there is hearing loss) and my best ever coverage was $500/ear once every 5 years - the rest of the cost did not apply toward my deductible or out of pocket max. From the parents i have spoken with this is fairly typical. For families who do not meet the Medicaid requirements but also don't have a large income or a lot of savings, or have multiple hearing aid users in the family this translates to many months of saving or begging from charitable organizations to be able to get the hearing aids.

Some highlights from the bill:
_applies to coverage under a group health_
_benefit plan described by Subsection (a) provided to a resident of_
_this state, regardless of whether the group policy or contract is_
_delivered, issued for delivery, or renewed within or outside this_
_state._


_COVERAGE REQUIRED. (a) A health benefit_
_plan must provide coverage for the cost of a medically necessary_
_hearing aid and related services and supplies for a covered_
_individual who is 18 years of age or younger._
_(b)______Coverage required under this section is limited to one_
_hearing aid in each ear every three years._
_(c)______Except as provided by Subsection (b), coverage required_
_under this section:_
_(1)______may not be less favorable than coverage for_
_physical illness generally under the plan;_
_(2)______must be subject to durational limits and_
_coinsurance factors no less favorable than coverage provided for_
_physical illness generally under the plan; and_
_(3)______may not be subject to a deductible requirement or_
_dollar limit._



I know there are many other important bills that are impacting our children's lives right now - we have some of them listed here:
http://www.txhandsandvoices.org/txhv/resources/legislation/

Please let me know if there are more bills not on that page that i am unaware of which would impact deaf and/or deafblind children in Texas! I will be sure to share them with our Texas H&V families too.

Thank you for reading this!!!

--
/Kellie J Berger/
Texas Hands & Voices
Executive Director
281-773-0107 <tel:281-773-0107> voice or text
800-921-8948 <tel:800-921-8948> fax
/“What works for your child is what makes the choice right!”/

/www.txhandsandvoices.org <http://www.txhandsandvoices.org/>/
/www.facebook.com/TXHandV <http://www.facebook.com/TXHandV>/

/www.facebook.com/TXHandVSpanish <http://www.facebook.com/TXHandVSpanish> /

This e-mail contains CONFIDENTIAL information intended only for the use of the addressee(s) named above. If you are not the intended recipient of this e-mail, or the employee or agent responsible for delivering it to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that dissemination, distribution or copying of this e-mail is strictly prohibited. If you have received this e-mail in error, please delete this message and contact the sender.
*Please Note:* From time to time Hands & Voices receives information about events and other items of interest from other sponsoring organizations that we pass on through email or flyers to our members and/or database that we feel might be of interest to our constituency. These events may not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of Hands & Voices, and Hands & Voices relies on our membership to deem what is of value to their own interests.



--
/Edgenie Bellah/
Family Engagement, Texas Deafblind Project
512-206-9423; fax: 512-206-9320
www.tsbvi.edu <http://www.tsbvi.edu/>
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Texas-School-for-the-Blind-and-Visually-Impaired-Distance-Learning/234728683263967 <https://www.facebook.com/pages/Texas-School-for-the-Blind-and-Visually-Impaired-Distance-Learning/234728683263967>https://twitter.com/distance_tsbvi <https://twitter.com/distance_tsbvi> https://www.youtube.com/user/VideoTSBVI <https://www.youtube.com/user/VideoTSBVI> http://distance.tsbvi.edu/ <http://distance.tsbvi.edu/>


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