Today's Law As Amended


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AB-1601 Hearing aids: minors.(2017-2018)



As Amends the Law Today


SECTION 1.
 It is the intent of the Legislature to explore alternate approaches to ensure the continuation of broad coverage of pediatric hearing benefits upon expiration of this mandate, including exploring ways to add pediatric hearing as an essential health benefit, without incurring ongoing state costs.

SEC. 2.

 Section 1367.72 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:

1367.72.
 (a) (1) A health care service plan contract issued, amended, or renewed on or after January 1, 2018, shall include coverage for hearing aids for all enrollees under 18 years of age when medically necessary.
(2) Coverage for hearing aids includes an initial assessment, new hearing aids at least every five years, new ear molds, new hearing aids if alterations to existing hearing aids cannot meet the needs of the child, a new hearing aid if the existing one is no longer working, fittings, adjustments, auditory training, and maintenance of the hearing aids.
(b) For purposes of this section, “hearing aid” means an electronic device usually worn in or behind the ear of a deaf and hard of hearing person for the purpose of amplifying sound.
(c) This section shall not apply to Medicare supplement, dental-only, or vision-only health care service plan contracts. This section shall apply only to the extent permitted under federal law.
(d) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2020, and as of that date is repealed.

SEC. 3.

 Section 10123.72 is added to the Insurance Code, to read:

10123.72.
 (a) (1) A health insurance policy issued, amended, or renewed on or after January 1, 2018, shall include coverage for hearing aids for all insureds under 18 years of age when medically necessary.
(2) Coverage for hearing aids includes an initial assessment, new hearing aids at least every five years, new ear molds, new hearing aids if alterations to existing hearing aids cannot meet the needs of the child, a new hearing aid if the existing one is no longer working, fittings, adjustments, auditory training, and maintenance of the hearing aids.
(b) For purposes of this section, “hearing aid” means an electronic device usually worn in or behind the ear of a deaf and hard of hearing person for the purpose of amplifying sound.
(c) This section shall not apply to accident-only, specified disease, hospital indemnity, Medicare supplement, dental-only, or vision-only health insurance policies. This section shall apply only to the extent permitted under federal law.
(d) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2020, and as of that date is repealed.
SEC. 4.
 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.