Department of Financial Services to Examine Approaches for Incorporating IVF Coverage into Infertility Mandate
Ensures that New Yorkers Have Access to Affordable In Vitro Fertilization Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Marital Status
Part of the 2018 Women's Agenda: Equal Rights, Equal Opportunity- Available Here
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced new actions to improve access to in vitro fertilization and fertility preservation services. The Governor is directing the Department of Financial Services to examine approaches for incorporating IVF coverage into the existing infertility coverage mandate to ensure that New Yorkers have appropriate access to affordable in vitro fertilization. The proposal is part of Governor Cuomo's 2018 Women's Agenda for New York: Equal Rights, Equal Opportunity.
"As the federal government threatens reproductive health care, New York will continue to fight for the right to control your own reproductive decisions and decide when and if to start a family," Governor Cuomo said. "By lifting barriers to insurance coverage, we will ensure safe and affordable access to in vitro fertilization and help New Yorkers have better control over their reproductive health and family planning."
Lieutenant Governor and Chair, New York Women's Suffrage Commission, Kathy Hochul said, "As a mother, I cannot overstate the importance of having these treatments available to anyone who needs them, independent of having the ability to pay. Every woman should have access to affordable and quality health care and the right to choose if they want to start a family. Despite what is happening in Washington, New York is an equal opportunity State and we will continue to move forward with the Women's Agenda to ensure equal rights and protections for all New Yorkers."
Secretary to the Governor and Chair, New York State Council on Women and Girls, Melissa DeRosa said, "All women need access to quality health care, and we must remove long-standing barriers to family planning, including in vitro fertilization, to help women have control over their futures. This action builds on our efforts to ensure women have access to safe, affordable reproductive health care and to make New York a stronger, healthier state for all."
To examine options to improve access for New Yorkers confronting infertility, the Superintendent of Financial Services will analyze the insurance premium consequences of in vitro fertilization coverage. In addition, to ensure that New Yorkers have access to infertility treatment and fertility preservation services -- regardless of sexual orientation or marital status -- the study will also include a review of current infertility definitions, including required trial and waiting periods, and make recommendations to improve access. Building on the experiences of states that currently require coverage for in vitro fertilization, the analysis will also include recommendations on any appropriate coverage limitations or treatment requirements.
The Superintendent's study will also examine options for improve access for New Yorkers receiving chemotherapy, radiation, surgery or other medical services that may compromise their fertility have coverage for the medical services necessary to preserve their ability to have children in the future.
Under current law, all commercial health insurance plans include coverage for most infertility medical services. In vitro fertilization is the one primary exception. Assisted reproduction, including treatment for infertility and IVF, has changed the lives of millions of families over the last few decades. Approximately 12 percent of women age 18-44 years old struggle to conceive or carry a pregnancy to term.
Since the infertility coverage mandate was added to New York law in 2002, the success rate of in vitro fertilization as an infertility treatment has increased, the cost has declined and the treatment can no longer be credibly characterized as experimental. Some plans, such as the New York State Health Insurance Plan, even opt to include IVF as a covered benefit. This presents an opportunity to revisit whether New York's coverage mandate for infertility services should allow insurers to exclude coverage for in vitro fertilization.
Financial Services Superintendent Maria T. Vullo said, "As a member of the Council of Women and Girls, I am proud to lead DFS in helping carry out the Governor's Women's Agenda by studying ways to improve women's access to in vitro fertilization and fertility preservation services. Today's actions are another important step in building upon New York's commitment to ensure the elimination of unnecessary barriers to women's reproductive health."
Barbara Collura, President/CEO of RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association said, "On behalf of the more than 400,000 New Yorkers struggling to build their families, we express our gratitude to Governor Cuomo for directing that a study on insurance coverage for In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and fertility preservation be performed. The opportunity to have a family is one of our most fundamental rights. Too many barriers, like poor access to care, diminish that possibility. Thank you Governor Cuomo for taking an important step in removing barriers and making family building a priority in your 2018 Women's Agenda."
Joyce Reinecke, Executive Director, Alliance for Fertility Preservation said, "The Alliance for Fertility Preservation applauds Governor Cuomo for his commitment to advancing access to reproductive care for the citizens of New York. His administration's study of IVF and fertility preservation is consistent with the goals of The Fair Access to Fertility Treatment Act (FAFTA), which would not only protect future parenthood for the newly diagnosed cancer patients we represent, but also provide survivors with meaningful access to appropriate procedures, including IVF, in order to build their families after cancer. We believe it is time for comprehensive coverage fertility coverage that provides patients hope for their future as face their cancer diagnoses."