STAND. COM. REP. NO. 2878
RE: S.C.R. No. 12
Honorable Colleen Hanabusa
President of the Senate
Twenty-Fifth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2010
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Health and Commerce and Consumer Protection, to which was referred S.C.R. No. 12 entitled:
"SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION REQUESTING THE AUDITOR TO ASSESS THE SOCIAL AND FINANCIAL EFFECTS OF REQUIRING HEALTH INSURERS TO OFFER COVERAGE FOR HEARING AIDS,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to request the Auditor to conduct an impact assessment report of the social and financial impacts of mandating coverage for hearing aids. This measure, in tandem with S.B. No. 192, S.D. 1, is intended to satisfy the requirements of sections 23-51 and 23-52 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the State Council on Developmental Disabilities, the Disability and Communication Access Board, and two individuals. Testimony in support of the intent of this measure with amendments was received by the Hawaii Medical Service Association. Written testimony presented to the Committees may be reviewed on the Legislature's website.
Your Committees find that hearing aids bring significant benefits to most hearing impaired individuals. Yet the cost of hearing aids is often prohibitively expensive, making them unaffordable to many hearing impaired residents of Hawaii, who must as a result live with a significantly lower quality of life.
The Auditor's study requested by this measure will examine the concerns of hearing impaired residents and insurance companies and will provide useful information for purposes of future decision-making on this issue.
Your Committees have amended this measure by including language to ensure a comprehensive review of the issue. Accordingly, as amended, this measure specifies that the Auditor's study should include:
(1) Identification of the target population to facilitate cost analysis;
(2) A survey of the experience of states that mandate coverage for hearings aids and cochlear implants;
(3) Review of standards, including device replacement standards and cost limitations, currently used by public and private entities that provide coverage for hearing aids; and
(4) A comparison of the cost of cochlear implants with the cost of hearing aids.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Health and Commerce and Consumer Protection that are attached to this report, your Committees concur with the intent and purpose of S.C.R. No. 12, as amended herein, and recommend that it be referred to the Committee on Ways and Means, in the form attached hereto as S.C.R. No. 12, S.D. 1.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Health and Commerce and Consumer Protection,
ROSALYN H. BAKER, Chair
DAVID Y. IGE, Chair