A bill has been reintroduced by D.C. Councilmember Christina Henderson that may put IVF in reach for more people in the local area. The goal of the bill is to require insurance companies to cover fertility treatments. That includes not just private insurance companies, but also Medicaid and the DC Healthcare Alliance.
If the bill passes it will lower the barriers to these kinds of treatments. Costing around $20,000 per cycle, IVF can be out of reach for people who don’t have high incomes, or who don’t have insurance plans that cover the cost of this care. Henderson is trying to change that with the Expanding Access to Fertility Treatment Amendment Act of 2022.
The reason Henderson was so inspired to reintroduce this bill is that she kept hearing from women in her district who were taking on second and even third jobs. They were working at Amazon and Starbucks, just so they would have access to insurance that included treatments like IVF. A lot of people in the D.C. area are starting their families a little bit later in life, but the cost of living in the area still often prohibits them from affording fertility treatments.
Additionally, many couples go through several cycles of IVF before a successful pregnancy, so that can push the cost of their treatment much higher. Requiring insurers to cover fertility treatments would be a game changer for women and couples who aren’t able to afford the high costs of these treatments to start or grow their families.
The bill was introduced last year, but didn’t make it very far. By reintroducing it this year, Henderson is showing her ongoing support for this type of care. The bill has also undergone some changes, with coverage for fertility preservation when there are medical conditions such as cancer.
Additionally, the bill would require coverage for unlimited embryo transfer and three IVF cycles that include egg retrieval, as well as coverage for the costs of surrogacy. The bill is currently working its way through committee.
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