For women who struggle with infertility, treatment options can easily climb to the tens of thousands.
Making the dream of having a baby, out of reach. As our Malique Rankin reports, the state doesn’t require insurance companies to cover infertility treatments. And for those insurance plans that do, it’s capped at 20,000 dollars.
Cassie Sjostrom “We have spent about 31,000 in three years.”
Cassie Sjostrom has been trying to start a family with her husband for the past three years.
Cassie Sjostrom “As soon as my obstetrician put infertility on my chart, we were billed like 300 for each appointment, 800 for ultrasounds, hundreds for extra lab work. And this was just in our initial stages about 3 years ago.”
Sjostrom has gone through 1 round of IVF..and 3 rounds of Intrauterine insemination.
All of which were unsuccessful.
Cassie Sjostrom “It really adds to the sadness. Because you’re sad every month when items don’t work, or every procedure you do doesn’t work. You’re really disappointed.”
Senate Bill 2233 would require insurance companies to cover infertility treatments.
The committee that is hearing this bill had a cost-benefit study done.
For those under state insurance plans, it would cost the state a 0.1% increase in the state health plan premium… which breaks down to $1.43 each month, per female employee
This legislation could also make a difference for women like Janet Nitchske. She’s survived 2 breast cancer diagnoses, one of which required a complete historectomy.
Janet Nitchske: “I actually chose not to seek infertility treatment because of the costs.”
For women struggling to start a family, they say having just part of the financial burden lifted would help with the heartache.
Cassie Sjostrom “I personally felt like a lot of times, it didn’t matter, in the sense of disease. Other diseases are recognized, and it wasn’t as important as other conditions.”
Bill sponsors told me they’re willing to work with the committee and amend the bill to help it pass.
This bill will be back in committee next week for a vote. Sponsors say they hope to increase the insurance cap to 40 to 50 thousand dollars, upping it from the current 20 thousand dollar cap.