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Capitol Briefs: Senate OKs plan to ensure hearing aid coverage for children

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Senate greenlit a bill that would require insurance carriers and health benefit plans, with some exceptions, to provide coverage for hearing aids for children under 18. 

Sen. Bill White, the sponsor, said SB 43 was particularly important as the General Assembly has made education a focal point of this legislative session. 

“The impact deals greatly with the education of some of our young people,” White said Wednesday. “If you can’t hear, you’re going to have a difficult time reaching your full potential at school.” 

  • Under the bill, health carriers and health benefit plans would have to provide coverage for medically necessary hearing aids for children under 18 who receive MO HealthNet benefits beginning Jan. 1, 2022. 
  • Certain supplemental insurance policies, as determined by the director of the Department of Commerce and Insurance, would be exempt. 
  • Sen. Jill Schupp spoke in favor of the bill before perfection, calling it “especially essential when our kids are developing and learning.” 
  • The bill passed out of the Health and Pensions Committee with a Senate substitute in mid-February.