Pension & Benefits News Illinois extends health insurance to fertility preservation
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Thursday, September 13, 2018

Illinois extends health insurance to fertility preservation

By Pension and Benefits Editorial Staff

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has signed a law (HB 2617) that will require coverage of egg or sperm preservation, a well-established medical practice that gives hope to patients who receive life-saving cancer treatment that they can one day have their own children.

"Thousands of young Illinois adults of child-bearing age are diagnosed with cancer each year," said Rauner. "With this legislation, we give them a way to overcome the burden of high out-of-pocket expenses for egg or sperm freezing so they can preserve an option to have a family in the future."

HB 2617 was widely supported by local and national health advocates, medical associations, insurance providers and nonprofits. Among them were the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the Illinois State Medical Society, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, Susan G. Komen Chicago and Gilda's Club.

"Fertility preservation options like egg and sperm banking are widely available but so often not considered a covered service as part of a patient's insurance plan," said Kristin N. Smith, program manager for fertility preservation at Northwestern Medicine Fertility and Reproductive Medicine. "HB 2617 changes that and allows patients to make decisions based on medical need, not their bank account. Young adult patients now have access top-notch care and our state is a leader in reproductive health care in the country."

Illinois is the third state in the U.S. to enact a law requiring insurance coverage of fertility preservation. Only Connecticut and Rhode Island have similar laws.

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