House Bill 74 is one many Atlanta parents are hoping gets approved quickly, as it would require private insurance companies to pay for children’s hearing aids. The bill has support from both parties, and under normal circumstances, would likely be approved by now. Instead, a bill from two years ago has House Bill 74 stuck in limbo, to the frustration of many local families.

Roughly two years ago, a bill was passed that made it a requirement for any new health insurance benefit bills be approved by a special advisory commission. The Governor appoints this commission. Unfortunately, even after two years, that commission is still not formed.

“We’ve had people we have asked to serve on that commission who have turned us down, so we’re continuing to find the individuals to meet the slots required under that legislation,” Gov. Nathan Deal said. “We have been working to try to get the membership on there. We have enough in place where they can have a quorum for a meeting.”

While the first meeting is scheduled for March 12, the extreme delay in the formation of the commission could mean that the hearing aid bill will not be addressed until 2014.

Currently, Medicaid and PeachCare cover hearing aids for children, but the majority of private insurance polies do not.

Ramie A. Tritt, MD, President of Atlanta ENT