What About Pending
in the House
of federal legislation mandating coverage of infertility are currently
in house committees. Both bills, proposed in early August of 1999,
are unlikely to leave committee or pass in the current term. As elections
approach and congressmen direct their attention the needs of home constituencies
and their re-election campaigns, priority for a bill regarding infertility
coverage will be low. Actions on high-profile topics, including medical
errors and gun control, are more likely to gain national attention and
bolster ratings at the polls. However, changes in the party balance
after the election may make the passage of legislation more plausible.
in the Senate
Building Act of 1999, proposed by Representative Anthony Weiner (D-NY),
would provide a federal mandate for insurance coverage of infertility treatment
through changes in the Public Health Service Act, the Employee Retirement
Income Security Act of 1974, and chapter 5 of the United States code..
Although proposed coverage is broader than most of the current state mandates,
the bill does propose some restrictions. Women undergoing IVF for
a first child would be limited to four treatment cycles, although two more
cycles would be allowed if treatment is successful to provide the opportunity
for a sibling. The bill is currently in the House Commerce Committee,
the House Committee on Government Reform, and the House Committee on Education
and the Workforce.
proposed by Representative Marty Meehan (D-MA), would amend federal civil
service law to require all health benefit plans under the federal Employees
Health Benefit Program that currently cover obstetrical services to also
provide benefits for the diagnosis and treatment of infertility, including
non-experimental ARTs. The bill is currently in the House Committee
on Government reform, within the Subcommittee on Civil Service.
mandating insurance coverage of infertility treatment was just proposed
on March 2, 2000 in the Senate. However, as in the House, passage
seems unlikely within the current term.
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The Fair Access
to Infertility Treatment and Hope Act of 2000, proposed by Senator
Robert Torricelli (D-NJ) would require all national health plans, including
those for federal employees, to provide coverage for infertility services.
The bill is currently in the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor,