June 2019 Summary:
Both houses of the Ohio Legislature have passed a version of the Biennial Budget, due to go into effect July 1, 2019, and are now conferencing to iron out differences. The budget continues to fund financial support on a sliding scale to purchase hearing aids for young children identified as hearing impaired through infant hearing screening programs, and who may not be eligible for Medicaid. Outside of the budget process, House Bill 243 has been introduced to require private health insurance providers to provide funds to dependent children who are identified as hearing impaired to purchase hearing aids every 3-4 years. Currently, some insurance providers identify hearing aids as “cosmetic” devices, and so will not pay for them. OSSPEAC’s own Carrie Spangler participated in the introductory press conference for HB 243, which can be seen here: http://ohiochannel.org/video/press-conference-6-6-2019-madelines-law . Read the full update here. See below for previous updates.
Call to Action for House Co-Sponsors
Children’s Hearing Aid Insurance Coverage
Representative Casey Weinstein & Representative Allison Russo are co-sponsoring Ohio legislation that would require commercial insurance plans in Ohio to cover hearing aids up to $1400/ear every 36 months for children up to age 18.
We are asking for your help to get YOUR Representative to sign on as a co-sponsor of the bill. Please email your Representative (instructions on how to find out who that is are below) and ask him/her to co-sponsor Representatives Weinstein’s and Russo’s children’s hearing aid insurance coverage bill.
For directions to find your Representative and see a sample email click the following link.
Call to Action for Hearing Aid Co-Sponsors.
2016 Legislative Reception
On April 5, 2016, The Ohio Speech and Hearing Governmental Affairs Coalition (OSHGAC) held their Legislative Reception at the State House Atrium in Columbus, Ohio. OSHGAC, founded in 1982, is a coalition of Ohio speech and hearing professional organizations including the Ohio Academy of Audiology, the Ohio Council of Speech and Hearing Administrators, the Ohio Speech Language Hearing Association and the Ohio School Speech Pathology Educational Audiology Coalition. The evening reception continues to be well attended by colleagues and members of the General Assembly.
The legislative reception also provides an opportunity for OSHGAC to recognize a legislator who supports issues that directly affect the professions of audiology and speech language pathology and consumers with hearing loss and communicative disorders. We were pleased to honor Representative Tim Brown as the 2016 OSHGAC Legislator of the Year. He was chosen for his work on HB 98, which names May 14th as Childhood Apraxia of Speech Awareness Day in Ohio. He sponsored the bill after meeting with a local family support group in his district. Representative Brown was contacted by constituents regarding this issue that was near and dear to their hearts. We honor Representative Brown because he is a leader who listens and finds appropriate and meaningful responses to the matters that are important to those he serves. The GAC recognizes that we have an ally in speech, language, hearing and communication issues in Representative Brown and we are very appreciative of that.
OSHGAC is currently in the planning stages for a legislative event in 2017. The membership will be alerted as soon as details are confirmed. Your participation is necessary in order to affect policy changes in the state of Ohio. OSHGAC extends our thanks Oticon, Inc., Phonak Hearing Systems, Sivantos, Starkey, Inc. and Wide for their continued sponsorship of this event and our colleagues who attended the reception and helped make this a successful event.
May 2014 State Legislative Update
September 2014 State Legislative Update
November 2014 State Legislative Update
January 2015 State Legislative Update
May 2015 State Legislative Update
September 2015 State Legislative Update
October 2015 State Legislative Update
November 2015 State Legislative Update
January 2016 Legislative Report Update
February 2016 Legislative Report Update
April 2016 Legislative Report Update
May 2016 Legislative Report Update
September 2016 Legislative Report Update
October 2016 Legislative Report Update
March 2019 Legislative Update
June 2019 Legislative Update
Ohio Speech and Hearing Governmental Affairs Coalition (OSHGAC)
OSSPEAC works collaboratively with other professional SLP and AuD organizations in Ohio, including the Ohio Academy of Audiology (OAA), the Ohio Council of Speech and Hearing Administrators (OCSHA), and the Ohio Speech-Language-Hearing Association to advocate for issues related to our professions and the clients we serve. This collaborative organization is the Ohio Speech and Hearing Governmental Affairs Coalition or OSHGAC.
OSHGAC has hired a lobbying group, Governmental Policy Group GPG), to assist with accomplishing our advocacy goals. Kelly O’Reilly, the Director of Govermental Affairs for GPG, works closely with the OSHGAC to identify key issues, alert OSSPEAC to pertinent upcoming legislation, and develop action plans for responding to or initiating needed action. She also works to promote passage of or opposition to bills or amendments as directed by OSHGAC. The “White Paper” document available from this webpage provides information about the legislative issues that GAC is currently involved in.
OSSPEAC’s representative to OSHGAC is Kirstin Marconi-Hutkay. Please contact Kirsten with your questions and concerns.
GREAT TIPS FOR BEING AN ADVOCATE!
Invite your legislator out to tour and visit your workplace or school. Invite them to see the irreplaceable and crucial services you provide to the development of our young people. Let them view, first hand, how we are preparing them to be fully functioning, beneficial, active and independent, members of the workplace and society!
Check out the handy tipsheet for hosting your legislator!
CONTACT YOUR CONGRESSPERSON!
ASHA has made the process of contacting your senator or congressman/woman very easy. By the way, this section of the ASHA website works for both members and nonmembers. Follow the steps below to contact your representative today:
- Log onto www.asha.org.
- Click on “Members & Professionals” Menu (across the top of the screen).
- Select “Legislation & Advocacy” from the drop down menu.
- A new page will open. On the left menu bar select “Take Action.”
- A new page will open with links for public/non-ASHA members and also for ASHA members to write letters.
- Follow the on-screen steps.
You can do it! Send a letter today!