ATLANTA - Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed "Jack's Bill" into law on Monday to require private insurance companies to cover the cost of children's hearing aids.
The bill was named for Georgia teen Jack McConnell, 15, who was the first Georgia baby identified with hearing loss after the passage of newborn hearing legislation in 1999.
McConnell started 20/20 Hearing several years ago to raise money to donate hearing aids to parents who could not afford them.
Jack's Bill, also known as SB 206, was sponsored by State Senator P.K. Martin (R-Lawrenceville) and Rep. Penny Houston (R-Nashville, GA).
Parents Kelly Jenkins and Sara Kogon founded Let Georgia Hear and began working on the bill six years ago.
Children's hearing aids can cost as much as $6,000 every three to five years.
They are already covered by Medicaid and were added to the State Health Benefit Plan, which covers 650,000 state employees, in 2015.
They turned out to be far less expensive than anyone predicted.
"They allocated $800,000 for the benefit, but it only cost $50,000," said Jenkins. "The bill will cost less than 3-cents per insured individual per month."
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