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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Illiopolis Mom Pushes for Hearing Aid Coverage in Illinois

For Ramona Martin and her two sons, Hunter and Owen, audiologist visits are nothing out of the ordinary. Both boys were diagnosed with mild to moderate hearing loss at birth.

Since 2002, newborn screenings and early intervention are mandated in Illinois. But, that coverage stops after age three,  leaving families to front the bill.

"The biggest struggle is the insurance and where the money is going to come from," said Ramona.

Between hearing aids costing $4,200 dollars, out of pocket ...every 3 to 5 years, audiological visits, ear molds and testing, Ramona wants her concerns about coverage to be heard.

"I really want the state of Illinois to realize they aren't covered for adults or kids," said Ramona.

Right now, 20 states have mandated insurance companies cover hearing aids. Ramona hopes Illinois is the 21st.

"They need it so much for speech development and language. Hunter is above and beyond, but that's because he had the hearing aids...some parents don't have the option to pay for it," said Ramona.

Dr. Brittney Reidy--an audiologist at SIU School of Medicine says she's proud of Ramona for her efforts to help families across the state.

"I applaude her, she is remarkable. We have several families that want to do everything they can to help out other families ...not just themselves, but make positive changes. I love it. I think it's great."

Ramona plans to meet with state legislators in the next few weeks to discuss three new bills that look to expand hearing aid coverage.



 
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