- Report Published -
|Senate Joint Resolution 426 - Study of Hearing Aid Coverage for Small Children|
|Special Advisory Commission on Mandated Health Insurance Benefits|
|The Senate Committee on Rules referred Senate Joint Resolution 426 to the Advisory Commission for review during the 2003 Session of the General Assembly. Senate Joint Resolution 426 was introduced by Senator Patricia S. Ticer. The resolution requires the Advisory Commission to examine: the cost of providing hearing aids to children under age 5, including the effect on health insurance premiums, the effects on the speech, language, and emotional development of children who have not had hearing aids before age 5, the costs of providing special services to children who are deaf and hard-of-hearing, the additional costs of education of children who are deaf and hard-of-hearing, and any other matter the Commission deems relevant to a cost/benefit analysis of providing hearing aids to children.|
The Advisory Commission held a public hearing on August 4, 2003 in Richmond to receive public comments on Senate Joint Resolution 426. In addition to the bill’s chief patron, two interested parties spoke in favor of Senate Joint Resolution 426. One of the speakers was representing the interests of the Virginia Association of Speech-Language-Pathologists. Another speaker, who is hearing impaired and a member of several hearing associations, provided testimony. The final speaker represented the Virginia Association of Health Plans (VAHP) and was opposed to the proposed legislation.
Additional public testimony was received at the November 17, 2003 meeting of the Advisory Commission. Six speakers provided testimony in support of Senate Joint Resolution 426. Two speakers were parents of children with hearing impairments. Two were audiologists providing a perspective of helping children with hearing aids. The fifth speaker was a member of the hearing impaired community and a member of several hearing associations. The final proponent was a physician. One speaker, representing VAHP, spoke in opposition of Senate Joint Resolution 426.
In addition, three letters were received by the Advisory Commission addressing Senate Joint Resolution 426. Information in the form of a letter was presented to the Advisory Commission that supported Senate Joint Resolution 426. Another letter was received that stated its overall opposition of mandates, including Senate Joint Resolution 426. A letter from the State Health Commissioner outlined the state programs that provide hearing aid assistance.
The Advisory Commission concluded its review of Senate Joint Resolution 426 on November 17, 2003.