They are joining other states, including others like Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Arkansas with a new law effective January 1, 2020 to require private health insurers to provide hearing aid benefits to their subscribers.
The law, the result of a bill sponsored by Rep. James Handy in 2019, requires private health insurers to cover hearing aids up to a preset dollar amount. This law will help the estimated 173,00 plus individuals residing in Maine with some level of hearing loss to obtain help.
There are various studies which show how treating hearing loss helps reduce other cognitive declines like dementia. The more one can stay engaged and communicate with others, the healthier life style they can maintain.
This differs from Medicare does not cover hearing aids or exams for fitting them, but some Medicare Advantage Plans may offer hearing benefits.
Maine is the oldest state in the nation and has a large number of older individuals who need assistance with hearing loss.
Opponents to the new mandate, including the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, said the requirement will push up the cost of insurance premiums, making plans too expensive for some small businesses that provide health insurance to employees.
The longs standing good news is hearing loss is becoming more and more of a spotlight across the country.