Advocacy group pushing for IVF insurance coverage in Colorado

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DENVER — Infertility impacts millions of couples in the U.S. according to the Department of Health and Human Services. The cost of treating the problem and starting a family is too high for too many. At least that’s what a new, local women’s advocacy group argues.

A group of women recently launched Colorado Fertility Advocates (CFA). They are hoping to raise awareness about struggles related to infertility and promote insurance coverage for treatment.

According to a 2016 study, on average, one round of in vitro fertilization (IVF) costs around $15,000. The majority of Americans with health insurance do not have coverage for IVF and infertility treatments. According to an industry research group, in 2017, 63% of American patients had no coverage.

CFA is hoping to change the law in Colorado. They are pushing for coverage of diagnosis, preservation and treatment for infertility. They are working with two Colorado representatives on a bill: Reps. Leslie Herod and Kerry Tipper.

“Why isn’t this covered like any other health condition? It should be,” Herod said of the issue.

“We have the power to actually do something to help families in Colorado in a meaningful way,” added Tipper.

Dr. Christina Yannetsos is with CFA. She knows firsthand the heartbreaking and expensive journey infertility can take a family on. She has done two rounds of IVF. Neither has been successful. Yannetsos and her husband are considering a third round. They’ve already paid $40,000 out of pocket.

“Whether you know it or not, you know someone who is struggling with infertility and this is their chance at building a family,” Yannetsos said of the new bill.

The bill is expected to be introduced later this month.

When asked about concerns over the impact to healthcare premiums for Coloradans, the lawmakers cite other states that already have laws in place for IVF coverage. They claim those states have seen a minimal impact to premiums as a result, if any.

Religious, ethical and medical concerns also arose as supporters in other states pushed for changes to state insurance coverage rules.

For more information about CFA, visit their website.

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