Section 23: Coverage for speech, hearing and language disorders
Section 23. The commission shall provide to any active or retired employee of the commonwealth who is insured under the commission coverage for expenses incurred in the medically necessary diagnosis and treatment of speech, hearing and language disorders by individuals licensed as speech-language pathologists or audiologists under chapter 112, if such services are rendered within the lawful scope of practice for such speech-language pathologists or audiologists regardless of whether the services are provided in a hospital, clinic or private office; provided, however, that such coverage shall not extend to the diagnosis or treatment of speech, hearing and language disorders in a school-based setting. The coverage provided by this section shall be subject to the same terms and conditions established for any other medical condition covered by the commission.
The commission shall provide to any child, who is 21 years of age or younger, of an active or retired employee of the commonwealth and who is insured under the group insurance commission coverage for the cost of 1 hearing aid per hearing-impaired ear up to $2,000 for each hearing aid, as defined in section 196 of chapter 112, every 36 months upon a written statement from the child's treating physician that the hearing aids are necessary regardless of etiology. Coverage under this section shall include all related services prescribed by a licensed audiologist or hearing instrument specialist, as defined in said section 196 of said chapter 112, 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 $2,000 limit 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 other benefits provided by the insurer. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the commission from offering greater coverage for hearing aids than required by this section. This section shall also require coverage for such hearing aids under any non-group policy.