Friday, April 24, 2009

First State to Require Implant Coverage

Wisconsin is one step closer to becoming the first state to require insurance companies to cover cochlear implants for children. Both houses of the legislature approved the bill this week and the governor is expected to sign it into law. It also requires insurance companies to cover some hearing aid costs. Some Republican lawmakers complained that the new requirement will drive up the cost of insurance for small businesses. But supporters say it ultimately saves taxpayers money by cutting special education costs. The new law would affect those covered by private insurance plans but not self-funded plans. Wisconsin has more than 1200 deaf children and about a third of them already have implants.