Facts

Young girl with hearing aid

Who Benefits from Insurance Coverage for Children’s Hearing Aids?

Hard of Hearing Children

  • Hearing loss is among the most prevalent sensory defects screened for at birth in America affecting 1.4 per 1000 babies each year.[1]
  • While Medicaid covers the cost of hearing aids for children who qualify, many families who make slightly over the federal poverty level fall through the cracks of the system.
  • Hearing aids can cost $6,000 per pair and must be replaced every 3-5 years. This is an expense of over $40K by the time a child reaches age 21. Only 16% of parents surveyed were able to secure some level of hearing aid coverage through private health insurance.[2]
  • Without access to clear sound, these children fall behind drastically in terms of literacy and language development, academics, and the ability to contribute as a productive citizen. [3]
  • With hearing aids, children can reach their fullest potential. They are able to do anything a hearing child can do with the right amplification and early intervention.

The Educational System and Economy

  • Children who do not receive early intervention for hearing loss cost schools an additional $420K and are faced with overall lifetime costs of $1 million in special education, lost wages, and health complications.[4]
  • However, with appropriate early intervention, children with hearing loss can be mainstreamed in regular elementary and secondary education classrooms offsetting the above costs.
  • There is a documented correlation between untreated hearing loss and unemployment.[5]
  • Untreated hearing loss results in a loss of household income of up to $30K per year, and this has a negative economic impact due to unrealized taxes.[6]

References

  • [1] CDC Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) 2009 Survey. http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/hearingloss/research.html.
  • [2] AG Bell Volta Voices March/April 2002.
  • [3] Kochkin S, et al. Are 1 Million Dependents with Hearing Loss in America Being Left Behind? Hearing Review. September, 2007: pp. 1-2, 4-6, 9-11.
  • [4] White, Karl R and Maxon, Antonia B. Universal screening for infant hearing impairment: simple, beneficial, and presently justified.
  • [5] Kochkin S, et al. The Impact of Untreated Hearing Loss on Household Income May 2007: p2, 6, 11.
  • [6] Better Hearing Institute. Hearing Aid Assistance Tax Credit.