Senate Bill 139

149th General Assembly (2017 - 2018)

Bill Progress

Signed 6/30/18
The General Assembly has ended, the current status is the final status.

Bill Details

Rep. Longhurst
This Act requires that health insurance offered in this State provide coverage for fertility care services, including in vitro fertilization ("IVF") procedures, for individuals who suffer from a disease or condition that results in the inability to procreate or to carry a pregnancy to a live birth. This Act also requires that health insurance offered in this State provide coverage for fertility preservation for individuals diagnosed with cancer and other diseases, when medically necessary treatment could adversely affect their fertility. Like all other diseases, infertility should be covered by insurance. According to the National Infertility Association, RESOLVE, infertility affects 1 in 8 couples and 3 in 4 never obtain needed treatment, often because they cannot afford it. Everyone deserves the right to procreate and to try to build a family. Right now, many Delaware families diagnosed with infertility fall into a “coverage gap” and pay out-of-pocket for fertility care services. Only certain employers provide any fertility care coverage in Delaware and what they do provide is often very limited. Families generally must pay high co-pays or adhere to service restrictions and lifetime dollar caps that strictly limit their treatment options, and thus make it unaffordable for many of them to proceed without risking their financial security or without achieving a successful pregnancy. For example, 1 IVF cycle can cost between $15,000 and $25,000 and, on average, it takes 2 to 3 cycles to achieve pregnancy. Additionally, highly inflated managed care pharmacy prices for IVF medications, where families with coverage can pay as much as 100% more for medications compared to prices charged to self-pay families, often contribute to 25-50% or more of total IVF costs, which can quickly drain lifetime caps and severely limit overall IVF care options. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 15 states currently have laws regarding insurance coverage for infertility diagnosis or treatment, including 2 states that border Delaware, New Jersey and Maryland. This puts the State at a significant competitive disadvantage, as many reproductive age residents intentionally change employers and leave Delaware to gain more attractive fertility care benefits. It is also well-documented that individuals who self-pay for an IVF procedure, or have limited benefits, often demand that 2 or more embryos be transferred to their uterus. This greatly increases the risk of multiple births and is a dangerous and costly approach for heavily burdened health care resources, and can be completely avoided with greater access to covered fertility care services. Studies show that states with insurance coverage have a lower rate of multiple births because fewer embryos are transferred. This Act requires insurers to cover fertility care services based on the current standard of care for IVF treatments to achieve pregnancy success rates for singleton births at the lowest possible costs. This will greatly reduce the risk of multiple births and greatly reduce hospital and health care costs, thus saving employers money. Several recent studies have found that the cost of perinatal and neonatal care for twins is about $100,000, whereas singleton pregnancies cost about $13,000. Triplet pregnancies can cost $400,000 or more. For every 100 pregnancies from IVF that are singletons but could have been twins, about $8.7 million dollars is saved, on top of reduced pain and suffering for parents and premature babies. This Act would significantly reduce this high financial and societal burden by promoting IVF technologies that use single-embryo transfers. This Act could increase the number of persons treated for infertility, but also increase the number of babies born in Delaware by 2-300 per year, thus increasing the state’s birth rate by 1-2% and providing a boost to the local economy, while also decreasing health care costs.
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