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HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 964         FILED ON: 1/19/2011

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 52

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

_________________

PRESENTED BY:

Sean Garballey

_______________

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act to provide access to hearing aids for children.

_______________

PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

Sean Garballey

23rd Middlesex

Stephen M. Brewer

Worcester, Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin

Michael J. Finn

6th Hampden

Rhonda Nyman

5th Plymouth

Patricia A. Haddad

5th Bristol

Martin J. Walsh

13th Suffolk

Thomas A. Golden, Jr.

16th Middlesex

Jennifer E. Benson

37th Middlesex

James J. Dwyer

30th Middlesex

Paul J. Donato

35th Middlesex

Nick Collins

4th Suffolk

Christopher M. Markey

9th Bristol

Richard T. Moore

 

Carolyn C. Dykema

8th Middlesex

Lori A. Ehrlich

8th Essex

Eileen M. Donoghue

 

Angelo J. Puppolo, Jr.

12th Hampden

Linda Campbell

15th Essex

Bradford Hill

4th Essex

Kevin J. Murphy

18th Middlesex

David M. Torrisi

14th Essex

Michael O. Moore

 

Joyce A. Spiliotis

12th Essex

Susan C. Fargo

 

John W. Scibak

2nd Hampshire

John J. Binienda

17th Worcester

William N. Brownsberger

 

Stephen R. Canessa

12th Bristol

Stephen L. DiNatale

3rd Worcester

Kimberly N. Ferguson

1st Worcester

Gloria L. Fox

7th Suffolk

John P. Fresolo

16th Worcester

Anne M. Gobi

5th Worcester

Sheila C. Harrington

1st Middlesex

Kate Hogan

3rd Middlesex

Randy Hunt

5th Barnstable

Thomas P. Kennedy

 

Kay Khan

11th Middlesex

Jason M. Lewis

31st Middlesex

David Paul Linsky

5th Middlesex

Thomas M. McGee

Third Essex and Middlesex

Alice Hanlon Peisch

14th Norfolk

Elizabeth A. Poirier

14th Bristol

Denise Provost

27th Middlesex

George T. Ross

2nd Bristol

Todd M. Smola

1st Hampden

Thomas M. Stanley

9th Middlesex

Alice K. Wolf

25th Middlesex

James Arciero

2nd Middlesex

Geraldine M. Creedon

11th Plymouth

Paul McMurtry

11th Norfolk

Stephen Stat Smith

28th Middlesex

Timothy J. Toomey, Jr.

26th Middlesex

Matthew A. Beaton

11th Worcester

Sal N. DiDomenico

Middlesex, Suffolk, and Essex

James B. Eldridge

 

Ryan C. Fattman

18th Worcester

Ann-Margaret Ferrante

5th Essex

Louis L. Kafka

8th Norfolk

Theodore C. Speliotis

13th Essex

Sonia Chang-Diaz

 

Cynthia S. Creem

 

John V. Fernandes

10th Worcester

Colleen M. Garry

36th Middlesex

Jonathan Hecht

29th Middlesex

Kevin G. Honan

17th Suffolk

John D. Keenan

7th Essex

George N. Peterson, Jr.

9th Worcester

Benjamin Swan

11th Hampden

Angelo L. D'Emilia

8th Plymouth

Carl M. Sciortino, Jr.

34th Middlesex


HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 964        FILED ON: 1/19/2011

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 52

By Mr. Garballey of Arlington, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 52) of Sean Garballey and others providing access to hearing aids for children.  Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities. 


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

_______________

In the Year Two Thousand Eleven

_______________

 

An Act to provide access to hearing aids for children.
 

              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

              Section 23 of chapter 32A of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2000 Official Edition,

              is hereby amended by adding the following paragraph:-

              The commission shall provide to any minor 21 years of age or younger who is the child of an

              active or retired employee of the commonwealth and who is insured under the group insurance

              commission coverage for the full cost of one (1) hearing aid per hearing-impaired ear up to two thousand dollars ($2,000) for each hearing aid, as defined in section 196 of chapter 112, every 36 months upon a written statement from such minor’s treating physician that the hearing aids are medically necessary. Coverage under this section shall include all related services prescribed by a licensed audiologist or hearing instrument specialist, as defined in that section, including the initial hearing aid evaluation, fitting and adjustments, and supplies, including ear molds. The insured may choose a higher priced hearing aid and may pay the difference in cost above the two thousand dollar ($2,000) limit as provided in this section without any financial or contractual penalty to the insured or to the provider of the hearing aid. The benefits in this section shall not be subject to any greater deductible, coinsurance, copayments or out-of-pocket limits than any other benefits provided by the insurer. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the commission from offering greater coverage for hearing aids than that required by this section. This section shall also require coverage for such hearing aids under any non-group policy.

              SECTION 2. Section 47U of chapter 175 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby

              amended by adding the following paragraph:-

              Any policy of accident and sickness insurance as described in section 108 which provides

              hospital expense and surgical expense insurance and which is delivered, issued or subsequently

              renewed by agreement between the insurer and policyholder in the commonwealth; any blanket

              or general policy of insurance described in subdivision (A), (C) or (D) of section 110 which

              provides hospital expense and surgical expense insurance and which is delivered, issued or

              subsequently renewed by agreement between the insurer and the policyholder, within or without

              the commonwealth; or any employees’ health and welfare fund which provides hospital expense

              and surgical expense benefits and which is delivered, issued or renewed to any person or group

              of persons in the commonwealth, shall provide coverage for any minor child 21 years of age or

              younger, who is insured under the policy or fund, for the full cost of one (1) hearing aid per

              hearing impaired ear up to two thousand dollars ($2,000) for each hearing aid, as

              defined under section 196 of chapter 112, every 36 months upon a written statement from such

              minor’s treating physician that the hearing aids are medically necessary. Coverage under this section shall include all related services prescribed by a licensed audiologist or hearing instrument specialist, as defined in that section, including the initial hearing aid evaluation, fitting and adjustments, and supplies, including ear molds. The insured may choose

              a higher priced hearing aid and may pay the difference in cost above the two thousand dollar ($2,000) limit as provided in this section without any financial or contractual penalty to the insured or to the provider of the hearing aid. The benefits in this section shall not be subject to any greater deductible, coinsurance, copayments or out-of-pocket limits than any other benefits provided by the insurer. Nothing in this section shall prohibit an insurer from offering greater coverage for hearing aids than that required by this section. This section shall also require coverage for such hearing aids under any non-group policy.

              SECTION 3. Section 8U of chapter 176A of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby

              amended by adding the following paragraph:-

              Any contracts, except contracts providing supplemental coverage to Medicare or other

              governmental programs, between a subscriber and the corporation under an individual or group

              hospital service plan which is delivered, issued or renewed in the commonwealth shall provide as

              benefits to all individual subscribers or members within the commonwealth and to all group

              members having a principal place of employment within the commonwealth, coverage for their

              minor children 21 years of age or younger, who are insured under such contracts or plans, for the full cost of one (1) hearing aid per hearing impaired ear up to two thousand dollars ($2,000) for each hearing aid, as defined under section 196 of chapter 112, every 36 months upon a written statement from such minor’s treating physician that the hearing aids are medically necessary. Coverage under this section shall include all related services prescribed by a licensed audiologist or hearing instrument specialist, as defined in that section, including the initial hearing aid evaluation, fitting and adjustments, and supplies, including ear molds. The insured may choose a higher priced hearing aid and may pay the difference in cost above the two thousand dollar ($2,000) limit as provided in this section without any financial or contractual penalty to the insured or to the provider of the hearing aid. The benefits in this section shall not be subject to any greater deductible, coinsurance, copayments or out-of-pocket limits than any other benefits provided by the insurer. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a corporation from offering greater coverage for hearing aids than that required by this section. This section shall also require coverage for such hearing aids under any non-group policy.

             

              SECTION 4. Section 4U of chapter 176B of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby

              amended by adding the following paragraph:-

              Any subscription certificate under an individual or group medical service agreement, except

              certificates which provide supplemental coverage to Medicare or other governmental programs,

              that shall be delivered, issued or renewed within the commonwealth shall provide as benefits to

              all individual subscribers or members within the commonwealth and to all group members

              having a principal place of employment in the commonwealth, coverage for their minor children

              21 years of age or younger, who are insured under such certificates or agreements, for the full cost of one (1) hearing aid per hearing impaired ear up to two thousand dollars ($2,000) for each hearing aid, as defined under section 196 of chapter 112, every 36 months upon a written statement from such minor’s treating physician that the hearing aids are medically necessary. Coverage under this section shall include all related services prescribed by a licensed audiologist or hearing instrument specialist, as defined in that section, including the initial hearing aid evaluation, fitting and adjustments, and supplies, including ear molds. The insured may choose a higher priced hearing aid and may pay the difference in cost above the two thousand dollar ($2,000) limit as provided in this section without any financial or contractual penalty to the insured or to the provider of the hearing aid. The benefits in this section shall not be subject to any greater deductible, coinsurance, copayments or out-of-pocket limits than any other benefits provided by the insurer. Nothing in this section shall prohibit an insurer from offering greater coverage for hearing aids than that required by this section. This section shall also require coverage for such hearing aids under any non-group policy.

              SECTION 5. The first section 4N of chapter 176G of the General Laws, as so appearing, is

              hereby amended by adding the following paragraph:-

              An individual or group health maintenance contract, except contracts providing supplemental

              coverage to Medicare or other governmental programs, shall provide coverage and benefits for

              minors 21 years of age or younger, who are insured under such contracts, for expenses incurred

              for the full cost of one (1) hearing aid per hearing impaired ear up to two thousand dollars ($2,000) for each hearing aid, as defined under section 196 of chapter 112, every 36 months upon a written statement from such minor’s treating physician that the hearing aids are medically necessary. Coverage under this section shall include all related services prescribed by a licensed audiologist or hearing instrument specialist, as defined in that section, including the initial hearing aid evaluation, fitting and adjustments, and supplies, including ear molds. The insured may choose a higher priced hearing aid and may pay the difference in cost above the two thousand dollar ($2,000) limit as provided in this section without any financial or contractual penalty to the insured or to the provider of the hearing aid. The benefits in this section shall not be subject to any greater deductible, coinsurance, copayments or out-of-pocket limits than any other benefits provided by the insurer. Nothing in this section shall prohibit an insurer from offering greater coverage for hearing aids than that required by this section. This section shall also require coverage for such hearing aids under any non-group policy.

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