Press Release from Rep. Debra Maggart, R-Hendersonville; April 12, 2011:
Republican Caucus Chair from Hendersonville Lauds Effort to Guarantee Insurance Coverage for Children’s Hearing Aids, Calls for Swift Senate Passage
(April 12, 2011, NASHVILLE) – Last week, in a landslide bipartisan vote, the House of Representatives passed HB 761, legislation requiring private insurance plans to include coverage of hearing aids for children.
House Republican Caucus Chair Debra Maggart (R—Hendersonville) applauded the efforts of her House colleagues by saying, “The passage of this legislation represents the culmination of years of effort by my friends on both sides of the aisle. This is an important issue where Republicans and Democrats can come together and do what is best for the children of Tennessee. In these troubling economic times, parents have a lot to deal with when it comes to taking care of their families. This bill will at least provide some stability and help for those children who are struggling with a world of silence.”
The bill was sponsored by Rep. Maggart for the past three sessions of the General Assembly. This year, House Education Chairman Richard Montgomery (R—Seveirville) is the lead sponsor for the bill and was responsible for guiding it through the House with Chairwoman Maggart. She remarked, “Chairman Montgomery deserves a lot of credit for working with Members and ushering this legislation to passage. He understands that by instituting this simple fix for insurance plans, our State ensures children with hearing impairments will have every opportunity to succeed in the classroom and in life.”
The final vote in the House was 82-12. The bill, which can be accessed here, now awaits final action from the Senate. Currently, the bill is in that Chamber’s Finance, Ways & Means Committee. Essentially, the bill requires that certain health insurance policies provide coverage of up to $1,000 per individual hearing aid per ear, every three years, for every child covered as a dependent by the policy holder.
Rep. Maggart urged her Senate colleagues to act swiftly, “Every day that passes without this coverage, we are potentially limiting a child’s ability to grow and learn. We cannot let that continue. I know there are hard-working Senators guiding this bill on their side and I pledge to do all I can to support their efforts so we can get this vital legislation to the Governor’s desk as soon as possible.”