At a young age of just nine years, Ally Tumblin has done more for her community than one could ever think.
This little girl has inspired legislation that could help thousands in the United States suffering from hearing impairments by mandating insurance companies to cover for hearing aids.
Ally suffers from microtia, a congenital defect where the external ear is not developed. Often times, this condition is accompanied with a missing ear canal, which is also the situation in Ally’s case. When Ally was born and her condition was diagnosed, the Tumblin family was appalled to know that medical insurance would not cover for the treatment of microtia, which is the use of a medical device called BAHA, a bone-anchored hearing aid recommended by doctors to treat hearing loss. Unfortunately, the device can cost up to an astounding $10,000. Ally herself relies extensively on BAHA and her family had to pay for it out of their pocket.
In 2019, Ally was asked in class to do something better for her community. And, she decided to do something about her situation. She wrote to congressman, Rep. Joe Neguse, a Colorado Democrat about her hearing problems and about how insurance companies fail to cover this condition.
When Rep. Neguse received Ally’s letter, he established Ally’s Act, H.R. 477, a bill that would require insurance companies to cover osseointegrated devices, including BAHAs and cochlear implants for children from birth to adults upto 64.
“For Ally and so many others, specialized hearing devices are critical for communicating. For insurance companies to deny coverage for these essential devices goes against common sense,” Neguse said.
Ally’s Act was the first bill reintroduced to the new 117th Congress on 27th January. Once it has 290 co-sponsors, it will be made into law.
Ally’s mother, Melissa has also done all she can to support others suffering from Microtia and hearing loss. She created Ear Community, a non-profit organization that helps create awareness about Microtia and has helped thousands of families across the United States.
We sincerely hope that this bill finds the support to become law. Kudos to Ally for doing so much at such a young age!