Obamacare and infertility

So us women were lured into supporting Obamacare (aka the 2010 Affordable Health Care Act) for the promise of increased coverage of women’s health issues.  We get free birth control now, as well as well-woman visits and increased funding for mammograms and a host of other preventative health care measures.  Yay!  That means more money in our pockets and an affirmation that since we do go through a little bit more on the health side (especially related to fertility) than the opposite sex, and that we’re also responsible for the continuation of the species, that we deserve to at least not have to spend our $.72 cash earned on the man’s $1 on making sure we can do that in a healthy manner.

So great, now we get more recognition for being valued by society as productive individuals with a voice and a contribution to make.  We put off building a family for becoming better educated, earning more, starting a career, etc., with the help of all this birth control.  Then we try to start a family – once we’re financially secure – and find out that we can’t.  Where do we turn to for health?  Surely Obamacare has thought of this caveat of women’s independence.

Well… no.  Sorry ladies, there’s no provision in the President’s health care package that specifically covers any kind of assisted reproductive technologies or treatments.  There’s also no provision that outlaws it, either – so I guess no news is better than bad news.

In the meantime, here’s the good news:

  • There are currently 15 states which mandate that insurance companies provide some kind of coverage for infertility treatments: California, New York, Texas, Massachusetts, Illinois, Ohio, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Arkansas, Maryland, Montana, New Mexico, West Virginia and Rhode Island
  • For the other 35 states, there may still be coverage provided depending on the individual insurance company – so ladies look into your insurance’s policies next time open enrollment comes around.
  • A bill has been proposed in the US Senate to create a tax credit for out-of-pocket expenses related to infertility treatments: the Family Act of 2011.  Although this doesn’t decrease the immediate burden of ART’s expensive price tag, it might provide the wiggle room for some couples to pursue avenues previously too prohibitive.

Of course, all of this good news has the potential to be wiped out with the passing of the Sanctity of Human Life Act, otherwise known as the “Personhood Bill.”  More next post.

My sources consulted:

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