August 25, 2019

2/20/2019 – Update on Medicaid expansion

Idaho’s application for Medicaid expansion was sent off to the feds last week, as required by Prop 2, but we still expect legislative efforts to curtail the full scope of coverage. One such effort is making its way through the Senate, another is expected in the House.

1/22/2019 – Article/Audio: Rep. Rubel discusses youth hearing aid coverage legislature

  • Article Link: “Youth Hearing Aid Coverage Re-Visited In Legislature”
  • About: Private insurance does not cover the costs for most hearing aids for youths. Efforts to change that are afoot in the state legislature. Idaho Matters follows up with the representative spearheading the initiative and the mother of three children who require hearing aids. Ilana and parent Gretchen Fors discuss mandating insurance coverage for youth hearing aids.

1/21/2019 – Final approval given for rule change that will assure coverage for kids’ hearing aids

You may remember that I’ve been working with a group of parents and doctors for over a year to secure insurance coverage for hearing aids for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. The lack of such coverage meant that affected families were heavily burdened and many children had to go without the needed devices. Last Thursday, we secured final approval for the rule change that will assure coverage for kids’ hearing aids as well as 45 speech therapy visits. I can’t tell you how excited I am that we finally got this done.

Here is part of the Dream Team that made it happen, moments after we passed it unanimously in committee:

January 21 Newsletter image

On another healthcare note, many are wondering what’s happening with Medicaid expansion. After the passage of Proposition 2, Governor Little expressed his intent to implement the will of the voters “in an Idaho way”. As session unfolds, we will learn more about what this means, but I for one will fight to implement Medicaid expansion exactly as passed by voters, without additional barriers to coverage.

1/17/2019 – Article: “Insurers now required to cover hearing aid costs for Idaho children”

  • Article Link: “Insurers now required to cover hearing aid costs for Idaho children”
  • Excerpt: A rule change passed by the Idaho Legislature on Thursday means that 1,000 Idaho families who have deaf or hard of hearing children, will soon no longer need to pay for hearing aids out of pocket. “Often this deafness is congenital, so it’ll hit a family hard,” House Assistant Minority Leader Ilana Rubel said. “They might have two or three or more kids who are deaf or hard of hearing, and so then not only do they have to come up with $5,000 a pair, they might have to come up with $15,000 to get pairs for all of their kids and that’s just more than families can handle.”