Governor Polis Signs Bipartisan Bill to Increase Access to Family Building Health Care in to Law
HB 1158 Provides Insurance Coverage for Fertility Treatments for Families
DENVER – This week, Governor Jared Polis signed into law House Bill 1158 The Colorado Building Families Act sponsored by Representative Kerry Tipper (R-Lakewood), Representative Leslie Herod (D-Denver), Senate Majority Leader Stephen Fenberg (D-Boulder) and Senator Faith Winter (D-Westminster). 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. Men, women and those that identify outside the gender binary are affected by infertility equally.
“This is an incredible win for parents in waiting across the country,” said Crystal Wilsonfrom Colorado Fertility Advocates. “Imagine if your doctor told you had kidney problems, but insurance wouldn’t cover the diagnostic testing. Or you were injured serving your country like my husband was, but the treatment for your injury wouldn’t be paid for. This is a medical issue that should be covered like any other, and we are so grateful to our bill sponsors, the legislature, and Governor Polis on behalf of countless Coloradans that are trying desperately to build their families.”
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 increased by around $1.00 per month per member and by only 55 cents in the state of New York. In some states, costs are estimated to slightly decrease.
“As an LGBTQ couple, we knew that we would likely face obstacles on our journey to parenthood, but we did not fully appreciate how large the economic barrier would be,” said Ashley Valenzuela. “We believe all families are equal, and everyone should be able to fulfill their dreams of having children. We are so grateful to see this bill become law and to know that more Coloradans will be given the opportunity to raise a family.”
“I used to think that my life changed the day they told me that I had cancer, but my life really changed over the course of 14 days when I wasn’t able to preserve my eggs,” said Carley Rutledge who was diagnosed with Cancer at 16 and unable to preserve her eggs. “Cancer takes so much from you, and I’m so happy and grateful that more women will not have to have motherhood taken from them.”
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. Insurance providers will have to start providing coverage by 2022.
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.