WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker (both D-N.J.) introduced a bicameral bill to expand health insurance coverage of infertility treatment and services. The Access to Infertility Treatment and Care Act would require more health insurers to provide coverage for infertility treatment, as well as fertility preservation services for individuals who undergo medically necessary procedures that may cause infertility, such as chemotherapy.
“Expanding access to affordable health care services is vital to help create strong and healthy families. This bill will improve coverage of infertility treatment and fertility preservation for patients,” said Sen. Menendez. “Aside from the enormous emotional toll, helping women and couples conceive is incredibly expensive. Our bill lifts some of that financial burden, protects parents from going bankrupt trying to have a child, and allows families to grow.”
“Infertility is a common medical condition, but few health insurance plans cover its treatment, leaving many American families financially burdened or unable to grow their families,” said Sen. Booker. “The Access to Infertility Treatment and Care Act will help alleviate that burden by requiring more insurance plans to cover treatment for infertility and fertility preservation services.”
“This pro-family legislation is important for people living with the diseases of infertility and cancer, and provides hope for Americans who want to build families,” said Hugh Taylor, M.D., president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. “Senator Booker's and Representative DeLauro’s leadership demonstrates their commitment to medical equity when it comes to access to reproductive health care,” he added.
Despite the prevalence of infertility – a reported one in eight couples have challenges conceiving -- coverage for treatment options is limited. For example, only 27 percent of large employers -- and 14 percent of small employers provide insurance coverage for in vitro fertilization. For those who have the resources and decide to pay out-of-pocket for infertility treatment, costs can easily exceed $10,000.
Specifically, the Access to Infertility Treatment and Care Act would require most private health insurance plans, as well as plans offered by the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, Medicaid, TRICARE, and the VA, to provide coverage for treatment of infertility without raising insurance or copayment costs. It would also ensure that these plans cover fertility preservation services for individuals who undergo a medically necessary procedure that may cause infertility.
The Access to Infertility Treatment and Care Act is co-sponsored by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and also Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), Deborah Ross (D-Calif.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-Missour).
Endorsing organizations: RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association • American Society for Reproductive Medicine • Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology • PCOS Challenge: The National Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Association • American Urological Association • National Military Family Association • Alliance for Fertility Preservation • Endocrine Society • National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health • Service Women’s Action Network • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists • Society of Gynecologic Oncology • Hadassah, The Women's Zionist Organization of America, Inc. • Young Survival Coalition • North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology • Society of Reproductive Surgeons • Society for Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility • Military Family Building Coalition
The full text of the legislation can be viewed here.