What is a cochlear implant?

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Children that are born with severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss, or even neural hearing loss, can benefit greatly from a cochlear implant. Cochlear implants are very different from regular hearing aids. To learn more about them, click here. This site is a good overview of how cochlear implants work and who might be a candidate for the device.


Taking Care of Hearing Aids

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There’s nothing more important than having your child’s hearing aids clean and in good working condition every day. Here is a great article with all you need to know to take care of hearing aids. Ask your audiologist if he or she has a care kit available for you.

Coping with a Diagnosis of Hearing Loss

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It can be very hard emotionally to take in the diagnosis of your child’s hearing loss; parents and siblings can experience many different feelings when hearing loss is confirmed, all of which are normal and natural. Sometimes it’s easier to know that others out there have gone through the same range of emotions. Here is a wonderful article from the New York Times about a parent coming to terms with their daughter’s hearing loss.

What is IDEA??

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IDEA is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which is a federal law passed in 1975. This law allows children with disabilities to receive a free evaluation to see if they have a disability and then entitles them to services if they are diagnosed with a disability. Early intervention services for children birth to 3 years old and special education services for ages 3-21 are provided for under IDEA.

Here is a link to organizations in MN that provide Early Intervention programs.

Your local school district will be your link to special education services. Here is a link to help you determine your school district in MN as well as another link here where you can fill in your school district and get their contact information.

MN law mandates insurance coverage for children’s hearing aids

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A law in Minnesota effective on Aug 1, 2007, mandated that insurance carriers who provide fully-insured health care coverage in the state of MN have to include hearing aids for children ages 0-18 as part of their insurance coverage!

Here is the statute:

[62Q.675] [HEARING AIDS; PERSONS 18 OR YOUNGER.] A health plan must cover hearing aids for individuals 18 years of age or younger for hearing loss that is not correctable by other covered procedures. Coverage required under this section is limited to one hearing aid in each ear every three years. No special deductible, coinsurance, co-payment, or other limitation on the coverage under this section that is not generally applicable to other coverages under the plan may be imposed. [EFFECTIVE DATE.] This section is effective August 1, 2007, and applies to policies, contracts, and certificates issued or renewed on or after that date.

Even if you have a self-insured plan, there are forms here on the Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Minnesotans site to appeal to your insurance company. They also have advocates who can help you work with the insurance companies since insurance coverage plans can be confusing.