The Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Insurance Coverage of Hearing Healthcare Implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) impacts the profession of audiology beyond individual audiology practice patterns in the clinic. The legislation and further required implementation of the ACA may dictate coverage of audiologic services and devices now and into the future. Audiologic (re)habilitative services and devices have not historically ... Article
Article  |   November 01, 2014
The Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Insurance Coverage of Hearing Healthcare
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jessica J. Messersmith
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD
  • Lindsey Jorgensen
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD
  • Financial Disclosure: Jessica J. Messersmith is an assistant professor at the University of South Dakota. Lindsey Jorgensen is an assistant professor at the University of South Dakota.
    Financial Disclosure: Jessica J. Messersmith is an assistant professor at the University of South Dakota. Lindsey Jorgensen is an assistant professor at the University of South Dakota.×
  • Nonfinancial Disclosure: Jessica J. Messersmith has previously published in the subject area. Lindsey Jorgensen has previously published in the subject area.
    Nonfinancial Disclosure: Jessica J. Messersmith has previously published in the subject area. Lindsey Jorgensen has previously published in the subject area.×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Regulatory, Legislative & Advocacy / Articles
Article   |   November 01, 2014
The Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Insurance Coverage of Hearing Healthcare
SIG 8 Perspectives on Public Health Issues Related to Hearing and Balance, November 2014, Vol. 15, 19-26. doi:10.1044/phi15.1.19
SIG 8 Perspectives on Public Health Issues Related to Hearing and Balance, November 2014, Vol. 15, 19-26. doi:10.1044/phi15.1.19

Implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) impacts the profession of audiology beyond individual audiology practice patterns in the clinic. The legislation and further required implementation of the ACA may dictate coverage of audiologic services and devices now and into the future. Audiologic (re)habilitative services and devices have not historically been covered and are unlikely included in benchmark plans. Under the current language of the ACA, states without mandated coverage of hearing healthcare prior to 2011 will face significant challenges in creating mandates. Arguments for including audiologic services and devices as an Essential Health Benefit (EHB) include quality care, improved patient outcomes, and improved consistency in coverage patterns across the United States. Due to the limited definition of EHB from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and loopholes in plans required to follow ACA guidelines, it is very possible that the inconsistencies across plans and states may increase and that financial repercussions at the state level may hinder passage of state-level mandated coverage of hearing healthcare.

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