Basically, it seems to say that if your health plan claims to cover prosthetic devices, but excludes hearing aids, then they're in violation of the ADA.
From my health plan:
Covered in full after a $10 copayment per visit:
- Durable medical and prosthetic equipment (including ostomy supplies)
and later on:
The Plan does not provide coverage for:
- hearing aids.
They also cover "Vision hardware for special conditions" - but not hearing aids.
As near as I understand it, the criteria by which the ADA determines discrimination is if the difference between what they cover and what they don't is the nature of the thing covered rather than its severity. i.e., if they cover artificial limbs, they should cover artificial ears. If they cover vision hardware for special conditions, they should cover hearing hardware for special conditions. They can put a spending cap on it (as long as it's comparable to the cap they have on other similar things), but they can't deny it entirely.
tikva can probably tell me if I'm way off base here, but it's awfully tempting to go after them. Could save me a few grand when these guys finally can't be repaired anymore...