Just this week, Connecticut became the first state in the nation to sign into law a bill requiring insurance coverage of fertility preservation for insured cancer patients and those for whom it is medically necessary. This is the first law of its kind in the United States, and it passed both the Connecticut House and Senate unanimously! We at IRMS hope to see many states follow this example.
Where before infertility coverage was predicated on a state definition of infertility as the inability of a “presumably healthy” individual to conceive within a year, Connecticut’s new law requires insurance coverage for any individual unable to conceive in one year. This change expands insurance coverage for infertility to patients suffering from an illness that damages their chances of conceiving or sustaining a pregnancy, such as cancer. These new requirements will take effect starting on January 1, 2018.
State Representative Matthew Lesser and patient advocate Melissa Thompson led the passage of the bill. Both have personally struggled during cancer treatment with managing their fertility preservation efforts when insurance companies refused to cover their medical costs.
With the medical advances available today in oncology, many patients of reproductive age end up living long lives, and the coverage of important medical procedures to preserve their fertility is a wonderful step towards helping them build their families later in life.
At IRMS, we hope to see New Jersey follow in the footsteps of Connecticut in breaking down the barrier that too often forces prospective parents to choose between their own health and their future family. We are eager to be able to help more patients’ access fertility preservation care and encourage all efforts to expand insurance coverage in our state.
If you have recently been diagnosed with cancer or another fertility-threatening disease and have questions about what to do next, please reach out to us at (973) 322-8286 or through our Contact Us form to get in touch about your options.