Current Missouri law allows Medicaid payments to cover the cost of hearing aids for eligible low-income children, pregnant women, and visually-impaired people. The Missouri House of Representatives has passed a bill that would expand Medicaid coverage to include hearing aids and cochlear implants for all eligible low-income residents.

Rep. Cameron Parker, R-Campbell, is sponsoring the bill.

“The ability to hear and communicate is critical in a person’s life,” said Parker. “It significantly reduces the risk of falls, cognitive decline, and allows the ability for that person to financially support themselves and their families.”

Rep. Kent Haden, R-Mexico, backs the bill.

“There are times that we can all get together on doing something that’s right,” said Haden. “This is one of those times. If you look at people who are hard of hearing, when there is a physical note to it, but if someone can’t hear, their chances of being employed are greatly decreased.”

So does Rep. Chris Dinkins, R-Lesterville.

“I was talking to a gentleman who had a cochlear implant,” said Dinkins. “My husband also has one, so I was familiar with it. And he brought to my attention that hearing loss that is untreated brings to an early onset of Alzheimer’s disease and I had not heard of that before. So, it just brought to my attention the importance of making sure that hearing loss is treated.”

It’s the state Senate’s turn to review the legislation.

To view House Bill 2626 and 1918, click here.

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