The PA Fertility Act would require that fertility treatments be covered in health insurance policies.
After undergoing fertility treatments for the past three years, State Rep. Jennifer O’Mara (D-Delaware) and her husband are finally expecting their first child.
O’Mara’s story would not have such a happy ending if her health insurance hadn’t covered the treatments. She’s one of the lucky ones because in Pennsylvania, insurance companies aren’t required to provide such coverage.
But O’Mara is working to change that.
O’Mara, along with Rep. Sara Innamorato (D-Allegheny) and Rep. Steve Malagari (D-Montgomery), introduced House Bill 2142 last December, also known as the PA Fertility Act, which would guarantee fertility care in the commonwealth’s health care insurance policies. The bill was referred to the insurance committee where it remains.
A companion bill was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Amanda Cappelletti (D-Delaware) in November. Senate Bill 989 was referred to the banking and insurance committee where it remains.
O’Mara said infertility affects one in every 10 people, it equally affects men and women, and — without insurance coverage — the average cost of treatment ranges between $18,000 and $85,000. And there’s no guarantee of success.
“Every person in Pennsylvania should have the right and ability to start a family,” O’Mara said during a news conference Thursday in an effort to highlight the need for the legislation during National Infertility Week.
The PA Fertility Act would also ensure coverage for people diagnosed with cancer who have only weeks or days to gather the financial resources to keep the future option of starting a family of their own possible before undergoing cancer treatments. The bill would also help LGBTQ+ people attempting to start families.
“Pennsylvania residents could start a family without emptying their life savings or risking bankruptcy,” Malagari said. “Starting a family would no longer depend on how much money you have in your bank account or where you are employed.”