Jacob and Elijah Shaddox are brothers. Jacob is 21 years old and just moved into an apartment with his girlfriend. He graduated from a technical college with an Associate's degree in Computer Maintenance. He works for a school district as a computer technician. Elijah is almost 18 years old. He is hearing impaired, has Tourette Syndrome, OCD and ADHD. He is a junior in high school. Elijah lives with his mom Mary and her wife, his stepmom. Mary has a bachelor's in deaf education and a masters in special education, and is an educational diagnostician. Life is always changing and this blog has chronicled many of these changes and will continue to do so!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cochlear Implants Processors--Health Insurance

This is the Freedom cochlear implant processor which Elijah wears now.

Elijah was implanted back in 2001 with the N24 Cochlear brand implant. When he was first implanted he had a body worn processor(BWP). Which is pictured here below.

He later got a second implant(turn on January 2005) in his other ear and again wore the BWP. There were some had a computer screen which made for easy troubleshooting and the microphone on his ear(looked like a small hearing aid) was very small and light. It was easy for him to wear, but it was bulky. He wore a harnass under his clothes that someone made for us. He loved his "ears" though and wore them daily.

In October of 2006 we were able to upgrade Elijah to the Freedom processor pictured at the top of the page. It was the newest implant available. He did not have the internal part of the Freedom, but the Cochlear comopany makes the processors backwards compatable. Elijah did well with the transition and we liked having the smaller processor. It took a bit to get used too, but overall it was a good move.
This is what the internal part of the cochlear implant looks like.

Cochlear has now come out with the Nucleus5 processor which is compatable with the freedom internal device. Elijah cannot get it yet, but the company is also making his BWPs obsolete, so I called to inquire about trading those in. We are going to trade those in with a $2500 credit towards each Freedom processor. He will then wear those new Freedoms as his primary processors(comes with a 3 year warranty) and have his Freedoms he wears now as his backup processor. I spoke to the insurance company today and they did approve payment on these processors. WOOHOO!! We will have to pay 20% but that is better than paying 100%. We are also getting a $2500 certificate for each processor towards a Nucleus5 processor. It is good for five years and we have to wait for compatability right now anyway. Hopefully within five years we can trade in for those Nucleus5 processors.

This seems like a lot, I know, just to have a child hear but it is worth it. Elijah will now have backup processors which are behind the ear and not body worn processors. We are happy with the freedom processors and would only upgrade because of the size(the new one is a lot slimmer and a little shorter). I am just glad my child can HEAR with his processors. It is such a gift. I wear a bracelet that Cochlear put out that says "Hear Now and Always" and I truly do believe in that. I am thankful for the technology and for the health insurance I have. Is there really any price one can put on being able to hear?

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