How infertility friendly is your state?
If states could be graded according to how infertility friendly they are, Alaska, New Hampshire, and Wyoming would earn an “F,” according to RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association. RESOLVE recently published its second annual “State Fertility Scorecard” that grades various elements associated with fertility treatment options available to couples in each state.
Highest scores were awarded to Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. These states offer most of the factors RESOLVE looks for when assigning a grade value to each state’s approach to fertility care:
• Insurance coverage for fertility treatments that include in-vitro fertilization (IVF)
• Insurance availability based on legislative mandates
• Number of fertility specialists practicing within the state
• Number of RESOLVE-approved infertility support groups and services
Live in Arkansas, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, or Rhode Island? Your state may be earning an “A” today but legislators in these states are in hot debate over new laws that would add restrictions to or eliminate coverage you now enjoy.
Arizona is notorious for what RESOLVE calls its “anti-family public policies” but the organization gave the state a “B” nonetheless. In spite of limited access mandated by state government, there are many RESOLVE-trained support groups and fertility clinics in operation in Arizona.
There is no uniformity of infertility care and services at the federal level in the United States today. The Affordable Care Act leaves the details of coverage for fertility treatments up to each state. Services available to one woman in one state may not be available to her sister who lives just across the state line.
Barbara Collura, the president and CEO of RESOLVE, encourages people concerned about the state of fertility coverage at the state and federal levels to take action. She says the two most important actions to take right now are:
• Start a RESOLVE support group; RESOLVE provides training and educational materials that help get a new group off to the right start.
• Write your state legislators and federal representatives to let them know how important IVF is to you or a loved one; let them know that family-friendly government matters.
Become an advocate
RESOLVE welcomes anyone interested in becoming a RESOLVE advocate. Advocates are needed in every state to maintain, improve, or expand fertility services available today. The non-profit organization was founded in 1974 to promote equal access to reproductive health care. It is the only nationwide network working to improve the lives of all women and men struggling with infertility.
Source: “State Fertility Scorecard.” RESOLVE. RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association.