My child’s been diagnosed with hearing loss…..what do I do now???

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Photo credit http://www.copeforhope.com

This is a question I’m sure every parent whose infant or child has been diagnosed with hearing loss has asked. The diagnosis itself can seem so overwhelming, along with the very important choices you’ll be asked to make for your child in what will seem like a very short period of time. The state of Minnesota has put together one of the most amazing brochures I’ve ever seen for parents of children newly diagnosed with hearing loss. In a step-by-step format, this online pamphlet will help guide you through the process of getting the services and help you will need. Most states will have something similar to Minnesota, so contact your state Department of Health to see what they can offer you.

Parent Roadmap

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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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photo credit http://www.nddc.org

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.