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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NEWS RELEASE 21-14

Commission Expands Coverage for Hearing Aid Services for Uninsured Children

ATLANTA, September 16, 2013 – The Georgia Public Service Commission today unanimously approved an expansion of the Hearing Aid Distribution Program which provides hearing aid services to children from ages 0 to 19. The Commission approved an amendment to its contract with the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation (Foundation) which contracts with the Commission to provide hearing aid services.

The amendment means the Foundation will be able to serve up to an additional 100 children per year whose families fall between the gaps in Medicaid, PeachCare and the federal limit for families receiving subsidies or tax credits. The Foundation partners with hearing aid manufacturers and maintains a network of over 150 audiologists throughout the state. As of December 31, 2013, the Program has distributed 9,142 hearing aids to 5,331 applicants. The legislature established the Hearing Aid Distribution Program in 2007 under the provisions
of House Bill 655.

“Our vote today will help children in our state with hearing impairments,” said Commissioner Tim Echols. “I appreciate the good work of the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation and the leadership they provide.”

Under Georgia law (O.C.G.A. §46-5-30(h)), the Commission administers a fund that can be used for four different purposes: the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS), the Audible Information Access Service, the Telecommunications Equipment Distribution Service and other hearing technology which includes the Hearing Aid Distribution Program. The Commission is authorized to fund these programs through a small surcharge on all local exchange telephone access lines.

The Georgia Public Service Commission is a five-member constitutional agency that exercises its authority and influence to ensure that consumers receive safe, reliable, and reasonably-priced telecommunications, electric and natural gas service from financially viable and technically competent companies.

For more information on the Commission, see the Commission web site at www.psc.state.ga.us.

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Contact: Bill Edge
Phone 404-656-2316
www.psc.state.ga.us

Georgia Public Service Commission
244Washington St S.W.
Atlanta, Georgia 30334
Phone: 404-656-4501
Toll free: 800-282-5813

Public Service Commission Votes to Expand Pediatric Hearing Program