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Shady Grove Fertility (SGF) Advocates for Change to Maryland Mandate

Thanks to the advocacy efforts of SGF’s Stephanie Beall, M.D., Ph.D., and Loretta Trumble, CRNP, and other advocates, the Maryland Mandate has expanded eligibility as of January 1, 2021, plus no more marriage requirement.

Rockville, MD - Loosened restrictions to the Maryland Mandate lead to improved access to fertility treatment for unmarried and married people who dream of building their families, thanks in part to the advocacy efforts of Shady Grove Fertility (SGF) clinicians and patients. Maryland was the first state in the nation to enact infertility insurance legislation in 1985, but the previous Mandate’s criteria posed barriers for insurance holders to receive equal and timely treatment opportunities.

When single mother by choice and SGF patient, Dr. Deborah Brooks, first embarked on her family-building journey in 2018, she found it discriminatory that she did not qualify for the same access to fertility treatment benefits that married couples did.

“After my third unsuccessful IUI, I wasn’t prepared to pay for IVF out of pocket,” said Dr. Brooks as she recalled the previous Mandate requiring six intrauterine insemination (IUI) cycles before moving on to IVF despite success rates drastically dropping after three.

Thanks in part to the testimonies from SGF’s Stephanie Beall, M.D., Ph.D., and Loretta Trumble, CRNP, along with Dr. Brooks, new revisions to the Maryland Mandate include:

  • the removal of a marriage requirement for patients seeking treatment,
  • reducing the 2-year “waiting” period to 1 year of unprotected sexual intercourse, and
  • reducing the attempts of IUI from six attempts to three.

Fortunately for Dr. Brooks, her fourth IUI led to the birth of her son in April 2020, 2 months after testifying in front of the Maryland Senate Finance Committee.

“I love my son, and I might want him to have a sibling someday,” shares Dr. Brooks. “It could be a very real possibility that I’ll be in my late 30s when that day comes and may need to try IVF. It’s comforting knowing that insurance benefits are available to me if I need them.”

Advocating for Maryland Mandate’s Expanded IVF Coverage

On February 26, 2020, Dr. Beall and Ms. Trumble testified in favor of laxing limitations on infertility treatment insurance carrier require of their policyholders. Their testimonies were presented alongside RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, Maryland Senator Shelly Hettleman, D-Baltimore County, and the Women’s Law Center of Maryland.

“Thousands of Marylanders have difficulty becoming pregnant and deserve access to today’s modern technology that will assist them,” Shared Senator Hettleman in her testimony. “This bill brings our law up to date, reflecting modern patterns in both medicine and parenting.”

For SGF physicians, helping patients build their families extends beyond the exam room. During Dr. Beall’s testimony, she shared, “The diagnosis of infertility knows no boundaries. It affects individuals regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, or marital status. Given the anticipated age-related decline in fertility, and the increased incidence of pregnancy loss and having a child with a chromosomal abnormality, it is important not to delay fertility care for an individual or couple who have a clinical diagnosis of infertility.”

Dr. Beall and Ms. Trumble have called for change to the Maryland Mandate before. Due to their collective efforts, on May 15, 2018, Maryland Governor Hogan signed the bill that requires insurers under the Maryland Mandate to cover the expense of fertility preservation, sperm and egg freezing specifically, for patients prior to medical treatments, such as chemotherapy for cancer, that likely would permanently damage their reproductive ability.

“I’m so passionate about helping build families across all patient populations and this was a way to use my passion to advocate for increased coverage,” says Trumble. “Revising legislation wasn't something I actively sought out, but change was needed and I’m so honored to be a part of it.”

To learn more about SGF’s support services for single mothers by choice like Dr. Brooks, or to schedule a virtual physician consultation with an SGF physician, call 1-888-761-1967 or visit ShadyGroveFertility.com.

About Shady Grove Fertility (SGF)
SGF is a leading fertility and IVF center of excellence with more than 85,000 babies born and 5,000+ 5-star patient reviews. With 37 locations throughout FL, GA, MD, NY, PA, VA, D.C., and Santiago, Chile, offer patients virtual physician consults, deliver individualized care, accept most insurance plans, and make treatment affordable through innovative financial options, including 100% refund guarantees. More physicians refer their patients to SGF than any other center. Call 1-888-761-1967 or visit ShadyGroveFertility.com
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