NON-PROFIT HOSPITAL SERVICE CORPORATIONS
Diagnosis and treatment of speech, hearing and language disorders
Section 8Y. Any contract between a subscriber and the corporation under an individual or group hospital service plan that provides hospital expense and surgical expense insurance, delivered, issued or renewed by agreement between the insurer and the policyholder, within or without the commonwealth, shall provide benefits for residents of the commonwealth and all group members having a principal place of employment within the commonwealth for the 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 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 benefits provided by this section shall be subject to the same terms and conditions established for any other medical condition covered by such individual or group hospital service plan.
[(f)] 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 that 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 such person’s children 21 years of age or younger, who are insured under such contracts or plans, for the cost of 1 hearing aid per hearing impaired ear up to $2,000 for each hearing aid, as defined under 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 any other benefits provided by the insurer. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a corporation 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.