Advocacy Highlight: Ally's Act
by Amy Pajula, on June 3, 2023
If you have hearing loss or know someone who does, you are likely very familiar with the challenges people face when trying to get treatment. Hearing loss is rarely viewed as a medical issue and there are many treatments not covered by insurance.
Only 20 states mandate insurance companies to pay for hearing aids for children, and only 5 states mandate insurance coverage for adults. The coverage is typically minimal and offered every 3-5 years. We are passionate about improving access to all hearing technologies for all people at Envoy Medical and believe uniting behind each advocacy effort for better hearing coverage is important. We are proud supporters of Ally's Act, which was reintroduced on March 30th, 2023.
Ally's Act, officially known as H.R. 5485, is a legislative initiative aimed at improving access to hearing care for children with microtia and atresia. Microtia is a congenital condition where the external ear is underdeveloped, often accompanied by atresia, the absence or closure of the ear canal. This groundbreaking act strives to address the challenges faced by these children and their families, advocating for insurance coverage of hearing devices and related services. Let's delve into the details of this significant legislation and its potential impact on the microtia and atresia communities.
Ally's Act was named after Ally Tumblin, a young girl born with bilateral microtia and atresia. Her journey inspired her family to advocate for change and better access to hearing care. The act aims to amend the Social Security Act to ensure that private insurance plans cover the cost of bone-anchored hearing aids (BAHA) and other hearing-related services for children with microtia and atresia.
- Insurance Coverage: Ally's Act strives to mandate insurance coverage for hearing devices, such as BAHA, as well as associated services like fittings, evaluations, and follow-up care. This coverage would significantly alleviate the financial burden on families and increase access to vital hearing solutions.
- Early Intervention: The act emphasizes the importance of early intervention and aims to facilitate timely access to appropriate hearing devices. By ensuring coverage for these devices, children with microtia and atresia can benefit from improved speech and language development, social interactions, and overall quality of life.
- Awareness and Education: Ally's Act also aims to raise awareness about microtia and atresia, promoting understanding and support for affected individuals and their families. By fostering education and knowledge, the act seeks to eliminate barriers and reduce the stigma surrounding hearing loss.
If passed, Ally's Act could bring about a transformative change in the lives of children with microtia and atresia. The availability of insurance coverage for BAHA and related services would allow families to access these life-changing devices without excessive financial strain. Improved access to hearing care would enable these children to overcome communication barriers, participate fully in academic and social activities, and reach their full potential. The act also paves the way for increased research, development, and innovation in the field of hearing healthcare. By highlighting the specific needs of individuals with microtia and atresia, Ally's Act encourages advancements in treatment options and promotes ongoing dialogue among healthcare professionals, researchers, and affected communities.
Ally's Act stands as a beacon of hope for children with microtia and atresia, aiming to ensure equitable access to hearing care and support their journey towards better hearing. By advocating for insurance coverage of BAHA and related services, this legislation is poised to positively impact the lives of countless individuals and their families. Let us support and amplify the call for Ally's Act to create a future where every child with microtia and atresia can thrive and experience the world of sound.
Help advocate by asking your Representatives in Congress and the Senate to co-sponsor Ally's Act. Click the link below for letter templates!