Shady Grove Fertility Physicians Continue to Advocate for Increased Access to Infertility Treatment
Shady Grove Fertility (SGF), a visionary partner of RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, along with other community members, joined together in Washington, D.C. to support the legislative initiatives that will assist the 1 in 8 couples who experience infertility. One of the primary missions of the 2018 Advocacy Day event was for advocates to properly explain the issues couples and individuals face with infertility. This year, there were 200 advocates from 30 different states including SGF physicians, staff, and former and current patients.
American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), Chairman, Christos Coutifaris, MD, introduced a new bill (S.2960) – the Access to Infertility Treatment and Care Act sponsored by Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro [D-CT] and Senator Cory Booker [D-NJ]. The bill will require that health plans offered on the group and individual markets—in addition to the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program, TRICARE, and the VA—provide coverage for infertility treatment. It will also ensure that these health plans cover fertility preservation services for individuals who need to undergo a medically necessary procedure that may cause infertility, such as chemotherapy. Adoption of the bill would be a huge step forward for countless American families.
Another bill that advocates discussed with Congressional representatives was the Women Veterans and Families Health Services Act (S 700 & HR 1681). This bill provides veterans wounded in the line of duty with access to reproductive treatments and adoption assistance permanently. The original bill, which was passed after the efforts of 2016 Advocacy Day, provides IVF coverage until September 2019, but SGF and other members believe it’s time to make the coverage permanent. Lauren and Kevin Jaye, patients of Dr. Jason Bromer of SGF’s Frederick, MD and Hagerstown, MD offices, were in attendance advocating for infertility benefits at the office of Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen. Kevin is a veteran who was severely injured by an IED during his service in Iraq and required 30+ surgeries, all of which were covered by the VA. However, the only treatment not covered, despite his injury occurring while he was serving his country, was the IVF treatment that the couple required in order to have a baby. The Jayes went on to have a baby with the help of Dr. Bromer, but made their story known by advocating for coverage for all veterans injured during service.
Infertility is recognized as a disease by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Medical Association (AMA). However, the United States lags behind most developed countries in providing access to treatments for infertility. While meeting with Congressional representatives on Advocacy Day, Dr. Stephen Greenhouse of SGF’s Fair Oaks and Haymarket, VA offices explained, “Currently, many insurance plans cover the cost of infertility diagnosis, but provide no coverage for infertility treatment. This would be unheard of for other recognized diseases such as diabetes or heart disease.”
“Not being able to afford care may also lead a couple to seek more aggressive fertility treatment options that may lead to premature deliveries and higher long-term care costs for the Federal government. Wider access to infertility insurance coverage can provide safer and more cost-effective treatment options to be considered up front,” added Dr. Greenhouse.
Dr. Gilbert Mottla of SGF’s Annapolis, MD offices summed up the power of Advocacy Day by saying, “Whenever I visit Capitol Hill I feel the strength of our democracy and get just a bit of a chill walking between buildings in front of our Supreme Court and Library of Congress. At SGF we enjoy being able to support our patients by speaking up and making our voices heard. Having a family is a basic human right and SGF continues to make parenthood possible for couples all over the world.”
To learn more about SGF’s advocacy efforts, or to schedule an appointment with a physician, please call 1-877-971-7755.
About Shady Grove Fertility (SGF)
SGF is a leading fertility and IVF center of excellence with more than 50,000 babies born and counting. With 31 locations throughout MD, PA, VA, D.C., GA, and FL, we offer patients individualized care, accept most insurance plans, and make treatment affordable through innovative financial options, including treatment guarantees. More physicians refer their patients to SGF than any other center. Call 1-888-761-1967 or visit ShadyGroveFertility.com.
Dana DeBoer | email@example.com | 301.545.1378
Shady Grove Fertility Marketing Team