LONG BEACH, Mississippi (WLOX) — Hearing can be a lifelong struggle with the need for hearing aid assistance, and paying for those hearing aids can be difficult for parents of struggling children auditory.
Listening and speaking exercises have been routine for 4-year-old Davis Moody since his mother Kimberly Moody learned he had partial hearing loss shortly after birth.
“Davis can hear a bit in his right ear, it’s not just what you and I are used to,” Biloxi resident Moody said.
Courtney Turner works with kids like Davis at USM Center for Communication and Development at the Long Beach and Hattiesburg campuses. Turner said it was essential for a child with hearing loss to get help as quickly as possible.
“Once a child is born with hearing loss, they’re already late,” Turner said.
Children’s hearing aids can cost up to $2,000 each. In Mississippi, Medicaid will cover the cost, but private insurance is not required to.
“When we were told we were sorry the insurance didn’t cover this, it was a huge shock to us. I mean how can you not cover something so important,” Moody said. .
“Unfortunately, cost can be a barrier for those families who immediately get hearing aids for their children,” Turner said.
Despite the cost, Moody doesn’t consider letting her son go without a hearing aid an option.
“Davis needs this hearing for speech, communication and development. Even as a young child, he was always behind his milestones,” Moody said. “It doesn’t just affect his hearing and speech. , it affects all of his fine motor skills.”
Although a Senate Bill this session to get private insurance to pay for children’s hearing aids failed to get out of the committee, a bill is still alive in the House that would allow state employees under the state health insurance plan to have hearing aids covered for their children.
“Hopefully if we can get these state employees on board, maybe insurance will eventually realize that it’s not going to take a ton out of everyone’s pockets in Mississippi,” Moody said. “If we can get state insurance approved, then everyone could follow suit in the future.”
According to Turner, 25 other states, including Louisiana, have measures in place requiring private insurance companies to cover the cost of hearing aids for children.
Want more WLOX news in your inbox? Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
Copyright 2022 WLOX. All rights reserved.