Insurance Legislation proposed in Congress
Insurance Legislation proposed in Congress
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Posted by Martha
on February 18, 2000 at 12:04:33:
I was fortunate to live in Illinois when I underwent two IVF/ICSI cycles. Illinois is one of the only states
that mandates insurance coverage for infertility treatement. Resolve, the national organization for infertility,
has released information that a bill has been proposed in Congress that will mandate federal coverage for
all of us. The following information is from Resolve. Please write, call and email your representative in
INSURANCE LEGISLATION INTRODUCED IN CONGRESS: TAKE ACTION!
Two bills have been introduced in the House of Representatives that require
insurance coverage of infertility services. These bills were introduced on
August 4 and August 5, 1999.
H.R. 2774, sponsored by Representative Marty Meehan (D-MA), requires
federal employees' health plans to include coverage of infertility services.
The bill was sent to the House Committee on Government Reform.
H.R. 2706, sponsored by Representative Anthony Weiner (D-NY),
requires all health plans to include coverage of infertility services. The bill
was sent to the House Committee on Government Reform, the House
Commerce Committee, and the House Committee on Education and the
WE NEED YOU TO TAKE ACTION: Contact your Representative in
Congress and ask that he/she support infertility insurance legislation. Write
letters, make phone calls, send e-mails, and make personal visits to your
Representative's Washington, DC or district office.
Also, contact members of the committees listed above, including the
committee chairs, and ask that they support this legislation. The committees
have the following web sites:
Also write to Representatives Meehan and Weiner and thank them for their
efforts. They need to know that there is a lot of support for their bills.
To find contact information for your Representative, for committee
members, and for Reps. Meehan and Weiner, go to http://www.house.gov
U.S. Senate: We are also working toward the introduction of insurance
legislation in the Senate. Contact your Senators and ask them to support
this effort. Senator Robert G. Torricelli's office would like to find other
Senators to support future legislation. Ask your Senators to contact
Senator Torricelli and find out how they can work with him to introduce
infertility insurance legislation. You can find contact information for
Senators at http://www.senate.gov.
When you write or call Senators, make sure to request that they contact
Senator Torricelli's office and that they work with him on this important
A sample letter for writing to members of the House of Representatives is
provided below, but you should personalize your letters to fit your own
situation. To write to Senators, you can use the same letter, but make sure
to change the first paragraph to include a request that the Senator contact
Senator Torricelli's office to find out how to support efforts to introduce
infertility insurance legislation.
The Honorable (Name)
Dear Representative (Name):
I am writing to ask you to support H.R. 2774 (sponsored by Representative
Marty Meehan) and H.R. 2706 (sponsored by Representative Anthony
Weiner). These two bills require coverage of infertility diagnosis and
treatment in health plans. Representative Meehan's bill covers federal
employees while Representative Weiner's bill covers all insurance plans.
There is a great need for such legislation to assist the more than 6 million
women and men struggling with the disease of infertility. As one of those
who has faced obstacles in my attempts to build a much-wanted family,
including a lack of insurance coverage, I know first-hand the impact that the
disease can have on those experiencing it.
Infertility is a medically-recognized disease. Still, many insurance companies
do not provide coverage for treatment to overcome this disease. The
financial burden that some of the treatments may place on couples can be
large, and the emotional and physical consequences of experiencing
infertility can be overwhelming. The strong desire to build a family gives me
the strength to face these obstacles, but I also need your support.
Well-managed insurance coverage will not place a large burden on
insurance companies. Studies have shown that coverage adds just a few
dollars per year to an insurance premium. Infertile couples pay the same
premiums as fertile couples, but are not able to access needed care. Most
diseases and medical conditions are covered by insurance. The disease of
infertility is often singled out for exclusion. Such discrimination is unfair.
The United States Supreme Court issued a ruling in 1998 in which it stated
that reproduction is a major life activity under the Americans with
Disabilities Act. This ruling demonstrates the importance of reproduction
and the impact that infertility, in which the ability to reproduce is impaired,
has on the lives of men and women. The ruling supports the need for
infertility insurance coverage so that those with infertility are not unfairly
discriminated against when denied coverage for this disease while most
other diseases are covered.
Many affected by infertility do not feel comfortable speaking publicly about
this very private struggle, but we represent all racial, religious, and ethnic
groups, as well as both sexes. We are neighbors, co-workers, friends and
relatives, and we just want to experience the joy of raising a family, an
experience that so many fertile couples take for granted.
Thank you for your consideration of this important issue. I hope that you will
be able to help in efforts to provide greater coverage of infertility
treatments. Such legislation would help to fulfill the dreams of thousands of
couples. For more information about infertility and about the costs and
benefits of insurance coverage, you can contact RESOLVE, The National
Infertility Association, at 617-623-1156.