Advocacy Initiatives

ACI Alliance’s Role in Advocacy

The Alliance has identified the following five strategic initiatives where we will concentrate our advocacy efforts to produce the most impact.

  1. Drive collaboration and accountability among industry, researchers and all stakeholders.
  2. Develop and build relationships between and with health care plan and government officials.
  3. Build a volunteer grassroots advocate program to address federal and state issues.
  4. Host briefings and/or summits in Washington DC on the “State of Hearing Loss and Impact of cochlear implants”
  5. Coordinate efforts with peer organizations to ensure consistent messaging and increase impact


ACA Marketplace Plans Cover Cochlear Implantation

The ACA Marketplace plans typically cover cochlear implantation.  One teen in Chicago purchased her own ACA plan when her parents' employer insurance refused to cover her cochlear implant surgery. Click Here

Webinar on Cochlear Implantation Under the Affordable Care Act

Expanding Access to Cochlear Implantation Under the Affordable Care Act, a free one-hour webinar is being offered by ACI Alliance in collaboration with Audiology Online.  The webinar was first given on January 15, 2014.  It was recorded and is available for playback at any time. CEUs are offered through the Audiology Online Open Access Program.

Course Description:
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA for short), often referred to as “Obamacare,” offers coverage opportunities for individuals who previously may not have had access to health insurance. This course will provide a primer on the ACA and the state Benchmark Plan process and discuss what we have discovered so far regarding cochlear implant coverage under the new State Health Insurance Marketplaces. 
For more details, please visit the Audiology Online website:

Click Here to open the Course.

Friends of the Congressional Hearing Health Caucus

ACI Alliance is an active member of this coalition, whose purpose is to increase awareness about hearing health issues.

August 23, 2013 -- NIH Visit

Click HERE


ACI Alliance Launches State Champion Program

The Affordable Care Act (abbreviated as ACA) was passed by Congress in early 2010.  Some provisions have already taken effect, such as extending coverage to young adults under their parents’ health insurance plans until they reach age 26 and prohibiting non-coverage of children because of pre-existing conditions. Additional changes will go into effect on October 1.

There is now an opportunity for individuals and their families who do not otherwise have health insurance to secure coverage on the new state exchanges. Regardless of whether or not a state has opted to operate its own exchange, each state has its own Essential Health Benefits (EHB) plan, which determines what benefits must be covered by the state’s small group and individual health plans under the new health care exchanges (or marketplaces, as they are now called).

To proactively address coverage of cochlear implantation at the state and national levels, ACI Alliance has established a State Champion Program.  State Champions in each state will:

  •  Make/maintain contact with appropriate state officials
  • Seek “Gold Standard Language” for cochlear implants in the state’s EHB plan
  • Serve as a point of contact for ACI Alliance and other members who wish to advocate
  • Monitor how the ACA rolls out in each state to proactively protect coverage of cochlear implantation
  • Report back to ACI Alliance so that we can impact on Federal policies and the Federal Exchange

At present, we have 26 states with one or more State Champions.  These individuals and their contact details are listed for State Champions.  Initially our State Champions will lead activities related to the Affordable Care Act.  Over time, we expect that they will lead other access initiatives.

ACI Alliance Posts Comments for Washington State Technology Assessment

The Alliance participated in the Washington State Technology Assessment

The Alliance and others in the cochlear implant community participated in the Washington State Health Technology Assessment, a process to determine if and how the state would cover bilateral cochlear implants under state sponsored programs such as Medicaid. John Niparko, MD, Past Chair of the ACI Alliance Board of Directors, provided oral testimony at the Clinical Committee Meeting on May 17. 
To read word document from ACI Alliance, click here to download. 
To see presentation by John Niparko, MD, click here to download.

By submitting comments on Bilateral Cochlear Impants on April 8, 2013. /sites/default/files/files/WA State April5_2013(2).docx

By submitting comments on Cochlear Implants on Nov. 29, 2012 To read full comments, click here to download.