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Health Insurance May Need To Foot Bill For Infertility Treatments

CBS Sacramento logoCBS Sacramento 4/24/2019 Syndicated Local – CBS Sacramento
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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) –  Nearly 73,000 babies are born a year with the help of reproductive technology, including in vitro fertilzation, and now California may require health insurance to cover the treatment costs.

AB 767 passed the Assembly Health committee Tuesday with an 11-2 vote (two Assemblymembers did not vote). This week also happens to be National Infertility Awareness Week.

Currently, the Knox-Keen Health Care Service Plan Act of 1975 requires health care service plans and health insurers to offer coverage for infertility treatment, except in vitro fertilization. The law also exempts any employer, health care service plan, or health insurer that is a religious organization from offering infertility coverage.

AB 767 would do away with those exemptions and require insurance policies and service plans to cover in vitro fertilization and mature oocyte cryopreservation. The new coverage law would take effect January 1, 2020 if it’s passed and signed by Governor Gavin Newsom.

The law would cover:

  • Infertility
  • In vitro fertilization
  • Mature oocyte cryopreservation, involving ovulation induction, egg retrieval, and freezing of the egg
  • Preventative fertility care treatment
  • Treatment for infertility, including diagnosis, diagnostic tests, medication, surgery, gamete intrafallopian transfer, and in vitro fertilization

AB 767 would not cover the cost of surrogates, or donor materials (sperm or eggs) needed for same-sex couples to conceive a child.

The CHBRP estimates that if AB 767 becomes law, the number of pregnancies resulting from infertility would increase by 6,000 (from 7,000 to 13,000) in the first year, with the number of live births increasing by 5,000 (from 6,000 to 11,000).

According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2016 there were 263,577 assisted reproductive technology cycles performed, with 76,930 babies born.

14 states have laws requiring insurance to cover infertility treatment costs:

  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Montana
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Rhode Island
  • West Virginia

Several groups oppose the legislation, including the California Chamber of Commerce, the California Right to Life Committee, the California Catholic Conference, and America’s Health Insurance Plans.


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