Vivienne Ober is a brave 9-year-old girl. She loves the color purple and playing with her little sister. But she Vivienne she is among the roughly 3 in 1,000 children who, according to the National Institutes of Health, are born with hearing loss. Without her headphones, the world sounds like a cell phone call that cuts in and out. Vivienne’s first hearing aids cost $7,000, plus earmolds, batteries, and warranties. Her parents were surprised when they found out that insurance did not cover it. “Our ENT and audiologist wrote letters to the insurance company and they still continued to deny it and label it cosmetic,” said Vivenne’s mother, Danielle Ober. specialist in audiology at the Hawaii Department of Education, says that not treating hearing loss early can lead to long-term problems.” There is a large body of research that has shown an association between untreated hearing loss and social isolation, loneliness, depression in children and adults, McNamara told Scripps News.”Access to hearing is very important for a child’s development.”Currently, a total of 28 states have insurance mandates for hearing aids for children that vary based on age, dollar amount, or frequency Lawmakers in New York, Michigan, Ohio, California, and Hawaii are considering legislation that would add them to the list America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) is the national association representing nearly 1,300 companies that offer health insurance Scripps News has contacted but has not heard back about whether AHIP members consider hearing aids “cosmetic.” SEE MORE: What You Need to Know About Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids Dr. Dylan Chan sees children who are deaf or hard of hearing and says that access to sound through hearing aids, sign language or spoken language is crucial at 6 months of age. Young children who wait longer may improve their language a little, but Chan says they will “sink at a lower level” than children who got help earlier. As for Vivienne Ober, her family estimates they have spent more than $15,000 out of pocket for her to hear. That includes a special microphone system they crowdfunded for Vivienne’s birthday that allows her to hear when people are out of earshot. Most hearing aids last three to six years, and Vivienne’s parents say they are already working to save for the next pair.