August 16, 2022
Gov. Scott recently signed H 266 into law, which requires group health insurance policies issued on or after January 1, 2024, to provide coverage for hearing aids. Each group policy will be required to cover the cost of a medically necessary hearing aid for each ear and the associated hearing aid professional services when the hearing aid or aids are prescribed, fitted, and dispensed by a hearing care professional. The coverage shall include hearing aid batteries when prescribed by a hearing care professional. Coverage may be limited to one hearing aid per ear every three years. The coverage may be subject to the plan’s normal cost-sharing requirements (deductible, copayment and coinsurance).
Further, the Departments of Vermont Health Access and of Financial Regulation intend to modify the essential health benefits in Vermont's benchmark plan to include coverage of hearing aids and related services beginning in plan year 2024. This means that self-insured employer plans which have chosen Vermont as their benchmark plan would be required to provide such coverage for plan years beginning in 2024.
There is no action required of employers now. However, when the law becomes effective, employer plan sponsors will need to work with their insurer or administrative services only carrier to modify coverage, if necessary.
H 266 »