North Carolina and New Hampshire have both enacted hearing aid insurance coverage mandates in the last week.
In New Hampshire, NH HB561 now requires insurers “to cover the cost of a hearing aid for each ear, as needed, as well as related services necessary to assess, select, and fit the hearing aid with a maximum for the hearing aid and related services of no less than $1,500 per hearing aid every 60 months.” The law has no age restriction. BHI served as a resource to New Hampshire legislative aides seeking information on the prevalence of hearing loss and the use of hearing aids in the state.
North Carolina also enacted a coverage mandate (NC H589) just five days after the NH mandate became law. While similar in purpose, NC set a coverage limit of $2,500 per ear every 36 months, but capped eligibility at 21 years of age. Gov. Bev Perdue signed the bill into law on June 7 with 9 year old Collin Tastet by her side. The North Carolina third grader had actively lobbied the state legislature on behalf of the bill. Both laws go into effect on January 1, 2011. New Hampshire and North Carolina’s new laws bring the total of states with hearing aid coverage mandates to 18.