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On January 13, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed a new law providing fertility preservation protection, making his state the ninth to implement such a law (*). The new mandate applies to most health insurance policies and contracts and requires providers to cover the costs of fertility preservation measures for people in the state who are fighting serious health conditions like cancer or sickle cell anemia.
There are aggressive treatments for these diseases, like surgical procedures, chemotherapy, and radiation. Unfortunately, one significant side effect is that the treatments themselves can create infertility issues in patients, damaging patients’ reproductive systems. Fertility preservation efforts, such as freezing eggs or sperm, are available thanks to modern medicine. However, the costs of such measures — typically not covered by most health insurance companies — are often beyond what people struggling with other major health issues can justify. For many patients, this meant grappling with the harsh reality that their life-saving treatments would effectively kill their dreams of starting or adding to their families one day.
Under New Jersey’s new law, as is also the case in laws passed in other states that implemented similar measures, health insurers must cover the costs of treatments designed to protect patients’ reproductive organs and to preserve their genetic material before they begin treatments for their illnesses. What’s more, insurance providers are prohibited from denying coverage to patients based on life expectancy or other health conditions.
This expanded mandate is welcome news for those with serious health diagnoses who dream of having children one day, providing peace of mind knowing that financial worries about how to pay for fertility preservation should no longer be an issue.
At The Surrogacy Law Center, we are passionate about helping protect our clients’ interests — and the interests of their future children. To learn more, contact us today.
*The other states with current fertility preservation laws include California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, and Rhode Island.