Dear Governor and GA State Legislators:
We, the undersigned*, are requesting that the State of GA enact a hearing aid insurance mandate for children (ages 22 and younger). Although hearing aids are deemed a medically necessary treatment, many insurance companies do NOT cover hearing aids. Hearing loss affects 12,000 children born in the United States each year, making it the most common sensory birth defect. Hearing aids can cost as much as $3,000 per aid and must be replaced every 3-5 years. Similar to eyeglasses for vision impairment, hearing aids will require maintenance and replacement typically every 3 to 5 years. Investing in the early years of a child’s life saves the taxpayers money. When a child’s hearing needs are not identified and/or when they do not receive early intervention, special education for a child with hearing loss costs schools an additional $420,000 (over the 12 years), and has a lifetime cost of approximately $1 million per individual. Each day this help is delayed, is one more day of rehabilitation that is needed later. Every child has the right to learn, to listen, and talk.
We, the undersigned, urge you to support the creation and passage of such important legislation. Legislation of this type has already passed in 20 other states. It's time for GA to do the same! Thank you for your time and consideration of this request. Your support of children who have hearing loss is greatly appreciated.
*The undersigned represent the interests of thousands of GA Deaf and hard of hearing children as well as parents of children with hearing loss.
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