Bill to Increase Access to Family Building Health Care Unanimously Passes House Committee Today
HB1158 would Provide Insurance Coverage for Fertility Treatments for Families
DENVER – Today, House Bill 1158 The Colorado Building Families Act sponsored by Representatives Kerry Tipper (D-Lakewood) and Leslie Herod (D-Denver) passed through the House Health and Insurance Committee. This legislation would expand access and remove economic barriers to fertility treatment by requiring health benefit plans to cover diagnosis of infertility, treatment for infertility, and fertility preservation services. According to the Centers for Disease Control one in eight Americans suffer from infertility.
“For many Coloradans cost is the number one barrier to building a family,” said Representative Tipper. “We have spoken with people that have had to sell their home, cash in their retirement or were forced to abandon their dreams of becoming parents. Whether they are suffering from infertility due to a combat related injury, a lifesaving cancer treatment or from other natural causes no one should be forced to give up parenthood.”
“I’m proud to stand here today as a sponsor of this bill, and very pleased to see it move through committee,” said Representative Herod. “I have spoken with so many people from my district about this issue, and this bill is about equity and access. It’s time to break down the barriers that are making it financially impossible for too many Coloradans to start a family.”
Even though infertility is a disease as determined by the American Medical Association, insurance coverage for fertility care is limited. House Bill 1158 will reduce the financial strain on families while only minimally impacting insurance premiums. In other states, premiums have been increased by as little as $1.06 per month per member and in some states, costs are estimated to slightly decrease.
“Cancer is enough to deal with, without having to deal with the costs and heartbreak of infertility as well,” said Carley Rutledge who was diagnosed with cancer at an early age. “If fertility treatments and preservation were covered by health insurance, it would have been much more likely that I would have had the opportunity to preserve my eggs for the future.”
Both men and women are affected by infertility equally, with one-third of infertility attributed to male factor, one-third to female factor, and one third to both partners according to the National Institute of Health.
“My family and I are here today to stand up for all Coloradans struggling to build a family,” said Colorado veteran Tyler Wilson. “No one should be punished for serving their country. We are grateful that House Bill 1158 moved forward today and that we can give hope to countless parents in waiting.”
By providing insurance coverage for fertility, Colorado will join 17 other states across the nation that are increasing access to necessary healthcare treatments and standing up for hardworking families. The Colorado Building Families Act, will now head to the House Appropriations Committee.
About Colorado Fertility Advocates:Colorado Fertility Advocates is a non-profit organization supporting families, advocating for fertility friendly legislation in Colorado, setting statewide industry standards, providing education and networking opportunities for fertility professionals and advocates.