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Insurance Coverage for Infertility Laws

State Laws Related to Insurance Coverage for Infertility Treatment 

Updated March 2012

Approximately 12 percent of U.S. women of childbearing age, about 1 in 8 couples, have received assistance for infertility. Usually, infertility is defined as the absence of conception after at least one year of regular, unprotected intercourse. Common methods of infertility treatment include various insemination techniques and hormone therapy to stimulate egg production. Assisted reproductive techniques (ART) are procedures in which pregnancy is attempted through the use of external means; for example, eggs are fertilized outside the womb and then placed into a woman's uterus through in vitro fertilization (IVF). More than 61,000 babies were born in the United States in 2008 as a result of non-donor ART procedures.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that ART accounts for slightly more than one percent of total U.S. births.

Although advances in infertility treatment have helped thousands of couples become parents, the procedures are not without controversy. Such procedures can be quite expensive— according to RESOLVE on average each cycle of IVF costs $8,158 plus $3,000 to $5,000 for medications—and debate exists about whether insurance plans should cover them. Studies have shown that assisted reproductive technologies have contributed to an increase in multiple births, which have a higher rate of prematurity than single births. In 2007, 8.2 percent of all newborns were low birthweight (less than 5.5 pounds), the highest percentage since the early 1970s.  Preterm births cost society at least $26 billion per year.

Since the 1980s, 15 states—Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas and West Virginia—have passed laws that require insurers to either cover or offer coverage for infertility diagnosis and treatment. Thirteen states have laws that require insurance companies to cover infertility treatment.  Louisiana and New York prohibit the exclusion of coverage for a medical condition otherwise covered solely because the condition results in infertility.  Two states—California and Texashave laws that require insurance companies to offer coverage for infertility treatment. While most states with laws requiring insurance companies to offer or provide coverage for infertility treatment include coverage for in vitro fertilization, California, Louisianaand New York have laws that specifically exclude coverage for the procedure.

Resources

First Letter of State A C D F G H I K L M N O P R S T U V W

State

Summary of Statutes

Alabama

 
Alaska  
American Samoa  
Arizona  
Arkansas

Ark. Stat. Ann. § 23-85-137 and § 23-86-118 (1987, 2011) require health insurance companies to cover services and procedures performed at a facility licensed by the Department of Health that conform to the guidelines and minimum standards of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists for in vitro fertilization clinics and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine for programs of in vitro fertilization. (2011 SB 213)

Ark. Stat. Ann. § 23-79-509(a)(5) specifies that the Arkansas Comprehensive Health Insurance Pool shall not include coverage for any expense or charge for in vitro fertilization, artificial insemination or any other artificial means used to cause pregnancy.

California

 

Cal. Health & Safety Code § 1374.55 requires health care service plan contracts that cover hospital, medical or surgical expenses on a group basis to offer coverage for the treatment of infertility, except in vitro fertilization. The law requires every plan to communicate the availability of coverage to group contractholders. The law defines infertility, treatment for infertility and in vitro fertilization. The law clarifies that religious employers are not required to offer coverage for forms of treatment that are inconsistent with the organization's religious and ethical principles.

Cal. Insurance Code § 10119.6 (1989) requires insurers to offer coverage of infertility treatments, except in vitro fertilization. Infertility, in this case, may be a result of a medical condition or may refer to the inability to carry a pregnancy to term during a one-year or more period of time. Infertility treatment refers to diagnosis, diagnostic tests, medication, surgery and gamete intrafallopian transfer.

 

Colorado

 

Connecticut

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 38a-509 and § 38a-536 (1989, 2005) require that health insurance organizations provide coverage for medically necessary expenses in the diagnosis and treatment of infertility, including in vitro fertilization procedures. Infertility, in this case, refers to an otherwise healthy individual who is unable to conceive or produce conception or to sustain a successful pregnancy during a one-year period. Amended in 2005 to provide an exemption for coverage that is contrary to the religious beliefs of an employer or individual.

Delaware

 
District of Columbia  
Florida  
Georgia  

Guam

 

Hawaii

Hawaii Rev. Stat. § 431:10A-116.5 and § 432.1-604 (1989, 2003) require all accident and health insurance policies that provide pregnancy-related benefits to also include a one-time only benefit for outpatient expenses arising from in vitro fertilization procedures. In order to qualify for in vitro fertilization procedures, the couple must have a history of infertility for at least five years or prove that the infertility is a result of a specified medical condition.

Idaho

 

Illinois

Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 215, § 5/356m (1991, 1996) requires certain insurance policies that provide pregnancy-related benefits to provide coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of infertility. Coverage includes in vitro fertilization, uterine embryo lavage, embryo transfer, artificial insemination, gamete sperm artificial intrafallopian tube transfer, zygote intrafallopian tube transfer and low tubal ovum transfer. Coverage is limited to four completed oocyte retrievals, except if a live birth follows a completed oocyte retrieval, then two more completed oocyte retrievals are covered. (1996 Ill. Laws, P.A. 89-669)

Indiana

 
Iowa  
Kansas  
Kentucky  
Louisiana

La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 22:1036 prohibits the exclusion of coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of a medical condition otherwise covered by the policy, contract, or plan, solely because the condition results in infertility.  The law does not require insurers to cover fertility drugs, in vitro fertilization or other assisted reproductive techniques, reversal of a tubal litigation, a vasectomy, or any other method of sterilization. (2001 La. Acts, P.A. 1045)

Maine

 

Maryland

Md. Insurance Code Ann. § 15-810 (2000) amends the original 1985 law and prohibits certain health insurers that provide pregnancy-related benefits from excluding benefits for all outpatient expenses arising from in vitro fertilization procedures performed. The law clarifies the conditions under which services must be provided, including a history of infertility of at least a 2-year period and infertility associated with one of several listed medical conditions. An insurer may limit coverage to three in vitro fertilization attempts per live birth, not to exceed a maximum lifetime benefit of $100,000. The law clarifies that an insurer or employer may exclude the coverage if it conflicts with the religious beliefs and practices of a religious organization, on request of the religious organization.  Regulations that became effective in 1994 exempt businesses with 50 or fewer employees from having to provide the IVF coverage. (2000 Md. Laws, Chap. 283; H.B. 350)

Md. Health General Code Ann. § 19-701 (2000) includes family planning or infertility services in the definition of health care services. 

Massachusetts

Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 175, § 47H, ch. 176A, § 8K, ch. 176B, § 4J, ch. 176G, § 4 and 211 Code of Massachusetts Regulations 37.00 (1987, 2010) require general insurance policies, non-profit hospital service corporations, medical service corporations and health maintenance organizations that provide pregnancy-related benefits to also provide coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of infertility, including in vitro fertilization. This law was amended in 2010 to change the definition of  "infertility" to be a condition of an individual who is unable to conceive or produce conception during a period of one year if the female is under the age of 35, or during a period of six months if the female is over the age of 35. If a person conceives but cannot carry that pregnancy to live birth, the period of time she attempted to conceive prior to achieving that pregnancy shall be included in the calculation of the one year or six month period. (SB 2585)

Michigan

 

Minnesota

 Minn. Stat. Ann. § 256B.0625 specifies that medical assistance shall not provide coverage for fertility drugs when specifically used to enhance fertility.

Mississippi

 

Missouri

 

Montana

Mont. Code Ann. § 33-22-1521 (1987) revises certain requirements of Montana's Comprehensive Health Association, the state's high-risk pool, and clarifies that covered expenses do not include charges for artificial insemination or treatment for infertility. (SB 310)

Mont. Code Ann. § 33-31-102(2)(v), et seq. (1987) requires health maintenance organizations to provide basic health services on a prepaid basis, which include infertility services. Other insurers are exempt from having to provide the coverage.

Nebraska

 

Nevada

 

New Hampshire

 

New Jersey

N.J. Stat. Ann. § 17:48-6x§ 17:48A-7w§ 17:48E-35.22 and § 17B:27-46.1x (2001) require health insurers to provide coverage for medically necessary expenses incurred in diagnosis and treatment of infertility, including medications, surgery, in vitro fertilization, embryo transfer, artificial insemination, gamete intrafallopian transfer, zygote intrafallopian transfer, intracytoplasmic sperm injection and four completed egg retrievals per lifetime of the covered person. The law includes some restrictions as well as a religious exemption for employers that provide health coverage to fewer than 50 employees. (SB 1076)

New Mexico

 

New York

N.Y. Insurance Law § 3216 (13), § 3221 (6) and § 4303(1990, 2002, 2011) prohibit individual and group health insurance policies from excluding coverage for hospital care, surgical care and medical care for diagnosis and treatment of correctable medical conditions otherwise covered by the policy solely because the medical condition results in infertility. The laws were amended in 2002 to require certain insurers to cover infertility treatment for women between the ages of 21 and 44 years. The laws exclude coverage for in vitro fertilization, gamete intrafallopian tube transfers and zygote intrafallopian tube transfers. The laws were amended again in 2011 by N.Y. laws, Chap. 598 to require every policy that provides coverage for prescription fertility drugs and requires or permits perscription drugs to be purchased through a network participating mail order or other non-retail pharmacy to provide the same coverage for perscription fertility drugs that are purchased from a network participating non-mail order retail pharmacy provided that the network participating non-mail order retail pharmacy agrees in advance to the same reimbursement amount and the same terms and conditions that the insurer has established for a newtork participating mail order or other non-retail pharmacy.  The policy is prohibited from imposing additional fees, co-payments, co-insurance, deductibles or other conditions on any insured person who elects to purchase prescription fertility drugs through a non-mail order retail pharmacy. (2011 AB 8900)


N.Y. Public Health Law § 2807-v (2002) creates a grant program to improve access to infertility services, treatments and procedures from the tobacco control and insurance initiatives pool.

North Carolina

 

North Dakota

 

Ohio

Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 1751.01 (A) (7) (1991) requires health maintenance organizations (HMOs) to provide basic health care services, which include infertility services, when medically necessary.

Oklahoma

 

Oregon

 

Pennsylvania

 

Puerto Rico

 

Rhode Island

R.I. Gen. Laws § 27-18-30, § 27-19-23, § 27-20-20 and § 27-41-33 (1989, 2007)require any contract, plan or policy of health insurance (individual and group), nonprofit hospital service, nonprofit medical service and health maintenance organization to provide coverage for medically necessary expenses for the diagnosis and treatment of infertility. The law clarifies that the co-payments for infertility services not exceed 20 percent. Infertility is defined as the condition of an otherwise healthy married individual who is unable to conceive or produce conception during a period of one year.  Rhode Island includes IVF coverage.  Amended in 2007 to increase the age of coverage for infertility from forty (40) to forty-two (42) and redefines infertility to mean a woman who is unable to sustain pregnancy during a period of one year. (2007 R.I. Pub. Laws, Chap. 411, SB 453)

South Carolina

 

South Dakota

 

Tennessee

 

Texas

Tex. Insurance Code Ann. § 1366.001 et seq. (1987, 2003) requires that all health insurers offer and make available coverage for services and benefits for expenses incurred or prepaid for outpatient expenses that may arise from in vitro fertilization procedures. In order to qualify for in vitro fertilization services, the couple must have a history of infertility for at least five years or have specified medical conditions resulting in infertility.  The law includes exemptions for religious employers.

U.S. Virgin Islands

 

Utah

 

Vermont

 

Virginia

 

Washington

 

West Virginia

W. Va. Code § 33-25A-2 (1995) amends the 1997 law and requires health insurers to cover basic health care services, which include infertility services.  Applies to health maintenance organizations (HMOs) only.

Wisconsin

 
Wyoming  

Sources: The National Conference of State Legislatures and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine: State Infertility Insurance Laws.
Note: List may not be comprehensive, but is representative of state laws that exist. NCSL appreciates additions and corrections.      

Resources

NOTE: NCSL provides links to other websites for information purposes only.  Providing these links does not indicate NCSL's support or endorsement of the site.

 

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