What is Ally’s Act?
Ally’s Act (H.R. 477/S.41) is a bipartisan, bicameral bill that was introduced by Congressman Joe Neguse (CO-2), alongside the co-chairs of the House Hearing Health Caucus Congressmen David B. McKinley, P.E. (WV-1) & Mike Thompson (CA-5), and Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) & Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). The goal of Ally’s Act is to provide coverage for Osseo integrated hearing devices (OIDs), including Bone Anchored Hearing Aids (BAHA) and Cochlear Implants (CI), for children and adults birth to age 64, including services, upgrades, surgery, and associated costs that come along with these devices.
Congressman David McKinley is this bill’s original co-sponsor as well as the only member of Congress who wears a cochlear implant. Congressman McKinley’s grandson wears a bone-anchored hearing device as well, just like Ally Tumblin, the little girl this bill honors.
This important bill needs more co-sponsors, so please reach out to your representative to ask them to co-sponsor Ally’s Act!
Why is Ally’s Act important?
Over 350,000 children and adults are often overlooked and denied the right to hear because private insurers deny coverage for cochlear implants and bone anchored hearing systems, even when they are medically necessary. This can cost families anywhere from $5,000.00 to $12,000.00 and they need to be replaced on an average of every 5 years. If Ally’s Act becomes law, this bill would help hundreds of thousands of children and adults have access to life-changing treatment, allowing them to live the lives they dream, participate in the workplace and community, and enjoy a high quality of life.
These hearing devices give people their lives back. They are often the only kind of hearing devices many members in the cleft/craniofacial community are able to wear due to reasons that include missing ears, no ear canals, and, congenital hearing loss. Cochlear implants and bone-anchored hearing systems allow children and adults access to life-changing treatment, so they can thrive in the community, participate in the workplace, and enjoy a high quality of life. Ally’s Act would cost private insurers less than $0.30 cents per person/per year to cover the services under this bill.
Specifically, the bill would cover the following.
- Coverage for a BAHA or CI device.
- Upgrade replacement of these hearing devices every 5 years.
- Cover accessories including soft band headband, hard band and adhesives.
- Cover repairs for these devices
- Cover (1) hearing assessment per year
- Cover (1) preoperative assessment per year
- Cover implantation surgery
- Cover post-operative medical appointments
- Cover post-operative audiological appointments for fittings, programming, and activation
- Provide aural services related to the use of this device.
What Ally’s Act does NOT do?
Ally’s Act does not include surgery performed to reshape normal structures of the body to improve appearance or self-esteem.
How can I help?
Please join us by sending letters to your legislators to get Ally’s Act passed! We encourage you to include your personal story in our prepared letter. You may also tweet or Facebook message your members of Congress to encourage them to co-sponsor Ally’s Act.