Hearing Loss Association of America supports the Medicare Hearing Health Care Enhancement Act of 2009 (HR 3024). This legislation would allow Medicare beneficiaries the option of going directly to a qualified audiologist for hearing and balance diagnostic tests. Currently, Medicare requires that beneficiaries with hearing loss or balance disorders obtain a physician referral before seeing an audiologist.
HLAA Executive Director Brenda Battat, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (NY), Andy Bopp (HIA),
and Alex Graham (executive director/CEO, AG Bell) at Hearing on the Hill, May 13, 2009.
WASHINGTON, DC, March 19, 2009 — Representative Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) today reintroduced the bipartisan Hearing Aid Tax Credit (H.R. 1646) along with Rep. Vern Ehlers (R-MI) and a record number of original co-sponsors, including 8 members of the House Ways and Means Committee. The bill, with the addition of a $200,000/year income eligibility cap, is otherwise unchanged from legislation in the 110th Congress that attracted 112 co-sponsors by the end of the session.
Pennsylvania is joining the list of States that have worked hard to bring out people in support of a federal hearing aid tax credit. On March 28 at 10 am, a brunch will be held in Ft. Washington, Pennsylvania to facilitate a discussion about the hearing aid tax credit with Representative Allyson Schwartz and her constituents.
HLAA is working with a coalition of national organizations supporting the re-introduction of the Hearing Aid Tax Credit bill. Working together, we built a lot of momentum last year and look to continue to build on that this year.
From left to right: Catherine Murphy (AG Bell), Alex Graham (AG Bell), Andy Bopp (HIA),
Congressman Chris Van Hollen (8th Congressional District, Md), Micah Spangler (HIA),
Brenda Battat (HLAA), Lise Hamlin (HLAA)
Our hard work has paid off. Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) has been pushing for hearing aid coverage in federal health plans. HLAA has learned that several of the Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) insurance plans have expanded their coverage to include coverage of hearing aids for adults. The Federal Government is the largest employer in the US. FEHB covers some 8 million federal employees, retirees and their dependants. That’s a lot of health insurance!
WASHINGTON, DC— Bipartisan Hearing Aid Tax Credit legislation (H.R. 2329 / S.1410) broke the 100 co-sponsor threshold as Congress adjourned for August recess. Reps. Gene Green (D-TX), Mary Bono (R-CA), and Robert Wittman (R-VA) are the most recent Representatives to join 99 of their House colleagues to bring the tax credit to 102 total cosponsors in the House and 11 in the Senate.