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Mothers Want Children's 'Right To Hear' Covered By Insurance

From left: Monica Schneider, lower right, with her husband, Alan Abes, and their sons, Mitchell, upper left, and Harrison. The Klugo family, from left, Chase, Michael, Alexis and Karen.
From left: Monica Schneider, lower right, with her husband, Alan Abes, and their sons, Mitchell, upper left, and Harrison. The Klugo family, from left, Chase, Michael, Alexis and Karen.

Hearing aids can be a substantial out-of-pocket expense, as mothers Karen Klugo and Monica Schneider found when their children needed the devices. Klugo's health insurance didn't cover any of the cost of her 18-month-old daughter's hearing aids or aural rehabilitation. Schneider's policy only covered $500 of her son's expenses.

Both mothers were able to afford the hearing aids and multiple audiologist visits over the years to ensure that their children had the best chance at healthy hearing and language development, but they worried about families who may not be in a position to pay. They have met with several Ohio lawmakers who are sponsoring House Bill 243. The legislation, known as the Right to Hear bill, would require private health insurance plans to cover hearing aids and related services for children up to the age of 22.

Joining Cincinnati Edition to discuss the proposed legislation are WCPO reporter Lucy May (@LucyMayCincy); eye surgeon Karen Klugo; professor of political science Monica Schneider; and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Division of Audiology Clinical Director Ian Windmill.

Listen to Cincinnati Edition live at noon M-F. Audio for this segment will be uploaded after 4 p.m. ET.

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