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In Louisiana, a mandate that would have preserved future fertility options for cancer patients whose treatments will leave them sterile has been vetoed by lawmakers, claiming that it is too expensive for the state. Had the mandate been successful, it would have required insurance companies to cover fertility preservation options for cancer patients who were about to undergo radiation, chemotherapy, or other types of treatments that would result in them being unable to have children in the future.
The reason it was deemed too costly is that the state would have had to pay for state workers to be covered for this potential, including public school teachers. Private health plans that were purchased on the exchange would have also incurred additional costs, for which the state would have been liable. Many of the insurance plans currently available in Louisiana don’t cover extraction procedures for sperm or eggs from people who need medical treatment that will make them infertile, and that includes cancer patients.
The goal was to close the gap for people in this difficult situation, and the proposal had been whittled down in an effort to get it to pass. A broader proposal that would have also covered IVF for married couples was problematic from the beginning, and didn’t have the support it needed. To give the bill a fighting chance to pass, a lot of that language was removed, and it was narrowed down to preserving fertility for cancer patients. Proponents of the failed bill believe that the worries over costs are unfounded.
The chances are high, proponents argue, that there would not be that many people who need this coverage. Therefore, it wouldn’t be that expensive for the state. But for the people who need it, it could give them the chance at a family that they would otherwise not be able to have.
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