Six year-old Jake Janes has had hearing aids since he was 6 months old.
His mom Christina says insurance doesn’t cover them.
“When we have been denied coverage, they will say it is either elective or cosmetic.
That is hard to hear for us,” she said.
She spends $4,000 just on the hearing aids every 4 years.
“That doesn’t count for the audiologist visits. You name it. Any extra testing we need to do,” she added.
Janes is among hundreds of parents advocating for Senate Bill 635.
It’s called the Let California Kids Hear Act.
It would require private insurance companies to cover the cost of hearing aids, up to 20,000 kids in California.
Supporters of the bill say only 1 in 10 children have their hearing aids covered by private plans.
“It is such a huge burden for the families. They have to choose, if they pay for their children or rent. That is mortifying,” said Doctor Daniela Carvalho.
Carvalho is the director of the hearing program at Rady Children’s Hospital.
She says families not getting the help they need can have long term effects.
“Their kids end up not being able to speak, not being able to listen to the parents say I love you,” she added.
This is a big week for the bill and everyone involved. Advocates in San Diego plan to head to Sacramento.
The bill is expected to go to the Senate floor. Governor Gavin Newsom would need to sign off on it.
More than 30 states already require private insurance plans to cover hearing aids for kids.
Carvalho is hopeful the bill will pass so parents like Christina can have peace of mind.