Fertility—a human right worthy of mandated insurance coverage: the evolution, limitations, and future of access to care

A review of state fertility mandate history, current status, and future potential with a focus on the inadequacies and reproductive injustice resulting from gaps between legislative intent and practical implementation.

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VOLUME 115, ISSUE 1, P29-42

Authors:

Jennifer F. Kawwass, M.D., Alan S. Penzias, M.D., Eli Y. Adashi, M.D., M.S.

Abstract:

We review the history, current status, and potential future of state infertility mandates and focus on the business implications of mandates and on the inadequacies and reproductive injustice resulting from gaps between legislative intent and practical implementation. Nineteen states have passed laws that require insurers to either cover or offer coverage for infertility diagnoses and treatment. The qualifications for coverage, extent of coverage, and exemptions vary drastically from one state to another, resulting in deficiencies in access to care even within mandated states for certain groups, such as single individuals, patients in same-sex relationships, and patients pursuing fertility preservation. Although insurance coverage of fertility services in the United States has expanded as an increasing number of states have enacted infertility mandates, significant gaps in implementation and access remain even among states with existing mandates. Provider, patient, and legislative advocacy is warranted in the name of reproductive justice to expand insurance coverage and, in turn, maximize reproductive outcomes, which have been shown to improve as financial barriers are lifted.

Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders. The journal publishes juried original scientific articles in clinical and laboratory research relevant to reproductive endocrinology, urology, andrology, physiology, immunology, genetics, contraception, and menopause. Fertility and Sterility® encourages and supports meaningful basic and clinical research, and facilitates and promotes excellence in professional education, in the field of reproductive medicine.