Booker, Menendez, DeLauro Introduce Bill to Increase Access to Infertility Treatment
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ), along with Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) re-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. "For many American families, the pain and frustration of infertility is made worse by a staggering financial burden," Senator Booker said. "This bill will ensure more Americans have the opportunity to start or build a family by requiring more insurance plans cover treatment for infertility and fertility preservation services." "Women and families facing a medical crisis should not have to also worry about potential infertility from treatment," said Sen. Menendez, a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee that sets national health policy. "Expanding access to affordable health care services is vital in creating strong and healthy families and this bill will improve coverage of infertility treatment and fertility preservation for patients. This is an important protection for women and families so they grow or start a family without facing the financial burden that so many face right now." "Too many people in our country are suffering from the heartbreak of infertility while struggling with an impossible choice: paying their bills -- their rent, their mortgage, putting food on the table -- or paying out of pocket to try to have a child," Congresswoman DeLauro said. "Healthcare providers need to step up and do the right thing by covering infertility treatment. That is why I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing this bill to ensure people have the opportunity to grow their family." Despite the prevalence of infertility -- one in eight couples have challenges conceiving -- coverage for treatment options is limited. A 2017 survey found that nearly half of employers with at least 500 employees did not cover infertility services, and 25 percent of companies with 20,000 or more employees also did not cover such services. Specifics of the Access to Infertility Treatment and Care Act The bill 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.