NEW YORK – People struggling with infertility would be guaranteed coverage by their health insurance plans for in vitro fertilization under a bill (A02646A) sponsored by Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas which passed the NYS Assembly on May 15.
In addition, the bill repeals discriminatory restrictions on coverage that are based on age, disability, medical dependency or personal characteristics such as marital status or sexual orientation.
“When people struggle with infertility they are dealing with a heart-breaking medical condition. So it is unconscionable that in-vitro fertilization, which is the gold standard of treatment, is so expensive that it’s out-of-reach for couples wanting to have children. It’s time to give people the benefit of the best treatments available when they want to have a family, without discriminating on the basis of marital status, sexual orientation or other personal characteristics,” said Assemblywoman Simotas.
“This legislation brings an outdated law into current times and allows infertility patients, and cancer patients looking to preserve their fertility, access to a medical treatment that is the standard of care. Passing this bill means New Yorkers will have a better chance of realizing their dreams of becoming parents,” said Barbara Collura, President/CEO, RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association. She added, “I want to thank Assemblymember Simotas for sponsoring this legislation and the New York Assembly for listening to their constituents and passing this bill to help New Yorkers build their families.”
The bill also provides a clear definition of infertility as a disease characterized by the incapacity to impregnate or the incapacity to conceive, as diagnosed by a physician or the failure to establish a clinical pregnancy after 12 months of regular, unprotected sexual intercourse.
The bill would also require coverage for fertility preservation services for cancer patients and others whose necessary medical treatments, such as surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy threaten reproductive health.
It is estimated that one in eight individuals or couples have trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a full-term pregnancy. Yet nearly half of individuals affected by infertility lack insurance coverage for the necessary treatment. Compared to other treatments presently covered under New York state law, in-vitro fertilization results in fewer pregnancy complications and fewer high-risk births.