FLAA Legislative Update – Children’s Hearing Aid Bill Passes Unanimously by Senate Banking and Insurance Committee

Progress continues as the Florida Academy of Audiology lobbies for the Hearing Care for Children Act!

Insurance Coverage for Hearing Aids for Children was re-introduced in the Florida Senate-SB 572-by Senator Dennis Baxley (R-District 12 (Marion, Sumter, Lake Counties).  http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2019/00572

A companion bill was introduced in the Florida House, HB 531, by Representative Robert Charles “Chuck” Brannan (R-District 10-Alachua, Baker, Columbia, Hamilton, Suwannee) http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2019/00531

On Wednesday, March 6th, Florida Academy of Audiology (FLAA) sponsored Children’s Hearing Technology Day at the Capitol in Tallahassee. It was attended by more than 50 audiologists, students from Nova Southeastern University and The University of South Florida, and  families and children with hearing loss. Every member of the legislature was visited and encouraged to co-sponsor and support these bills which would require private insurance policies to offer a hearing care benefit for children ages 0-21 years.

Twenty four states already have enacted similar legislation and hopefully Florida will soon join that list.  It typically takes at least three to five years to pass major legislation in Florida and that time frame is only possible when awareness and bipartisan support occur through spreading the word.

Then, on Monday, March 18th, FLAA testified before the Senate Legislative Committee regarding the bill.  After providing incredibly moving testimony, the committee voted unanimously to move the legislation to the next Senate committee – a major victory for Florida audiologists and the children that they serve!
Now is the time to get behind these initiatives:

  • Send a letter or call the office of your State Representative and State Senator to ask them to co-sponsor and support these bills. A simple phone call to the office or an email asking for support can go a long way.
  • Encourage families of children with hearing loss to also call their members of the State Legislature to support House Bill HB 531 and in the Senate Bill SB 572.
  • Please help us continue the momentum and “like” our new Facebook page for this effort:
  • https://www.facebook.com/Hearing-Care-For-Children-Act-Florida-1762742370412396/?__tn__=%2Cg
  • Send a check to FLAA with a memo to allocate the money for these legislative initiatives.
  • Join FLAA for 2019, an important step for the families we serve.  Click here to renew your membership or click here to become a new member.  There is strength in numbers and we need your support to continue this effort!