The Colorado legislature is considering a new bill that would require private health insurance companies in the state to cover in vitro fertilization – or IVF – for patients struggling with infertility. It would become the most comprehensive coverage for infertility in the Mountain West.
Currently the state of Colorado only requires insurance companies to cover certain fertility treatments, such as diagnostic lab tests and artificial insemination. The Colorado Building Families Act would expand that to require coverage of IVF, which has a higher success rate.
Democratic Rep. Kerry Tipper, who has struggled with infertility herself, is sponsoring the bill.
“I can tell you that the room in my house that was supposed to be the baby’s room, which is the office that I work out of, is a reminder every day that what we want is not something we have,” Tipper said during a House Health and Insurance Committee hearing this week. “I cannot imagine that, on top of that, the barrier would just be cost.”
The bill would also require coverage for the egg and sperm freezing process for people with medical conditions, like cancer, that might threaten their reproductive systems.
Montana also requires private health insurance companies to cover infertility treatments. But it doesn’t include preventative freezing of eggs or sperm.
There has been little opposition to the bill so far, though the trade group Colorado Association of Health Plans says the bill would likely raise the cost of insurance premiums for many Coloradans.
According to the CDC, about 1 in 8 couples struggle with infertility.
This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUER in Salt Lake City, KUNR in Nevada, the O’Connor Center For the Rocky Mountain West in Montana, and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.