Hadassah Advocates for Infertility Coverage
Following the passage of a new policy statement last July, Hadassah members and units around the country are coming together to tackle infertility—raising awareness and confronting taboos while driving policy change and empowering patients to advocate for their health.
Breaking Down Stigma
Did you know that age, genetics, other medical conditions and previous treatments or injuries can all affect fertility? Hadassah will highlight the wide range of people who access infertility treatments, including those with congenital infertility, recurrent pregnancy loss, cancer survivors, veterans and others with injuries, single parents, same-sex couples and those who already have children (secondary infertility).
Infertility not only affects intended parents, but extended families and communities. Certain conditions linked to infertility or a need for treatment—including polycystic ovary syndrome, cystic fibrosis and BRCA gene mutations—all have higher incidence rates in the Jewish community.
To further demystify and destigmatize infertility, Hadassah is organizing community programs, hosting trainings and empowering individuals to speak openly about their infertility journeys and pathways to parenthood—or their decision to live childfree. Digital engagement opportunities, such as webinars and social media, will allow national and chapter-based members to get involved. Visit the Hadassah resource center on infertility to learn more about this campaign and plans for Infertility Awareness Week, April 19 to 25.
See related stories: Are You My Surrogate?, The Blessings and Trauma of IVF, Learning to Live My Best Life, Without Children, Preserving Fertility After Cancer and Members Share Their Struggles to Become Mothers
Fighting to Expand Services
Hadassah is mobilizing grassroots supporters and partner organizations to support infertility-related legislation at the state and federal levels. Hadassah advocates are writing letters and meeting with officials in support of expanded insurance coverage and greater access to treatment. Currently, 17 states have passed infertility coverage laws. New laws enacted in 2019 include these:
• New York amended the state’s existing infertility statute to require certain plans to offer coverage for three cycles of in vitro fertilization and all plans to cover fertility preservation services—the freezing of eggs or sperm, for instance—for those undergoing treatment that causes infertility, such as radiation or chemotherapy.
• New Hampshire became the 11th state to mandate coverage
• California mandated that all insurance companies in the state cover fertility preservation services.
• New Jersey passed legislation related to fertility preservation and regulations for embryo storage
In January, over a dozen members of Hadassah Southern California traveled to Sacramento to meet with state officials to lobby for a bill that would expand insurance coverage for infertility treatments, including IVF.
At Day in the District meetings, when federal legislators return home from Washington, D.C., Hadassah members are working to secure co-sponsors for two pieces of legislation. The Access to Infertility Treatment and Care Act would require all health plans offered on the group and individual markets to provide coverage for infertility treatment. The Women Veterans and Families Health Services Act of 2019 would improve the reproductive assistance provided by the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Visit the Hadassah resource center on infertility to send a message to Congress in support of these bills via the Hadassah National Action Center.
The Online Hadassah Magazine Discussion Group presents “Struggling With Infertility,” an exclusive live web interview with Amy Klein, author of The Trying Game: Get Through Fertility Treatment and Get Pregnant Without Losing Your Mind, moderated by Lisa Hostein, executive editor of Hadassah Magazine. Register here and receive a link to watch the interview on your computer or mobile phone.