HOUSTON (June 25, 2015) – Because House Bill 2979 did not reach a vote in the Texas Legislature in May, some insurance companies in the state of Texas still consider hearing aids “cosmetic” and refuse to cover them. The Center for Hearing and Speech’s Executive Director Renee Davis knows this could not be further from the truth. She says, “Early access to sound is absolutely imperative for a child’s language development. Hearing aids should never be considered cosmetic. They are essential for our clients.”
What is Help Texas Hear?
This week, The Center for Hearing and Speech launches a statewide campaign, Help Texas Hear. Through peer-to-peer fundraising, Help Texas Hear will raise awareness and funds for three purposes: purchasing loaner hearing aids for families to borrow as their baby grows from birth to 18 months, discounting hearing aids for families who have insurance that does not cover hearing aids, and providing audiology services to fit the hearing aids on the babies.
Who does this help?
Without access to sound and intervention, childhood hearing loss limits language, social skill and literacy development. Even though they have jobs and insurance, many middle class families must pay for hearing aids out-of-pocket. A typical hearing aid costs between $1,000 - $4,000, and children will need different hearing aids as they grow.
When will hearing aids not be considered “cosmetic”?
Advocates are currently working to present a bill similar to HB2979 to the Texas Legislature in January 2017.
For more information, visit www.centerhearingandspeech.org and www.purecharity.com/helptexashear.
About The Center for Hearing and Speech
For nearly 70, The Center for Hearing and Speech, a United Way agency, has been dedicated to improving the lives of children with hearing loss through clinical, education and support services. All of the Center’s programs demonstrate a commitment to enable deaf children to reach their full potential by teaching them listening, speaking and literacy skills. Last year, the Center served 8,561 children from 227 ZIP codes and 27 counties in Texas. For more information on CHS, visit www.CenterHearingandSpeech.org, follow CHS on Twitter @HelpingKidsHear, or visit the Facebook fan page.