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SDPB Radio Coverage of the South Dakota Legislature. See all coverage and find links to audio and video streams live from the Capitol at

Audiology Services, Devices Bill Hoghoused in Committee

A measure that requires insurance coverage for audiology services and devices continues through the legislature, but in a different form. Senate Bill 122 was hoghoused Monday morning in Senate Appropriations.
The amended version of the bill doesn’t mandate all providers to cover audiology services, but only applies to those that currently offer them and provides guidelines on how to do so. Prior to the hoghouse amendment, opponents were concerned with the potential cost to the state and policy holders.
Senator Billie Sutton says compromise was needed to keep the discussion going, and that House Bill 1166 provides coverage for hearing aids.

“I’m not convinced that we should separate hearing aids from insurance costs, but I’m also a realist and the knowledge that I didn’t have support to move this bill forward as a mandate. And so, I think we can continue having that conversation as the language is written,” Sutton says.
Sutton says he’s frustrated that hearing loss isn’t necessarily considered a medical condition and that the need for hearing aids isn’t seen as necessary. Senate Bill 122 passed out of Appropriations and now heads to the full Senate for consideration.