Family wins battle for hearing implant surgery

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Five-year-old Carson Rubin can't wait to get his "robot ears," a term he uses for cochlear implants.
WALTON COUNTY, Ga. —

After a family’s months-long fight, a Walton County boy will receive life-changing surgery to help him hear.

The insurance company initially denied the expensive procedure, but after a Channel 2 Action News story on the family’s struggle, thousands of people signed a petition demanding the company reverse its policy.

“He asks every day, ‘When am I going to get my robot ears?’” mother Shay Rubin told Channel 2’s Rachel Stockman.

Her 5-year-old son Carson will soon be receiving cochlear implants. It’s been a long journey for his family. Though most other insurance companies cover it, Coventry Health Care of Georgia originally told the Rubins it wouldn’t foot the $250,000 bill. The Rubins started a petition through Change.org asking for a policy change.

“We had 111,000 signatures, and it was great,” Rubin said.

Last week, she got a phone call from the company about a change of heart.

“To go up against a company that large and think you are ever going to make a change is a big deal,” Rubin said.

Not only did Coventry decide to cover Carson's surgery, but as of April 1, cochlear implants will be a covered benefit for all policy holders. In a statement, the company said, "As of very recently, polices have shifted. As a result, we will make a similar change because we want to ensure our benefits are competitive, as well as our costs."

“I say don't give up,” Rubin said.

Now, she's lending her support to a similar cause. The family is behind Minneapolis man Jacob Landis, who plans to ride his bike to 30 different cities, in the hopes of raising $1 million dollars for other who could benefit from a cochlear implant but cannot afford one. Click here for more information.