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Bill to expand IVF/infertility insurance coverage overwhelmingly passes Senate

Friday, Apr 12, 2024 - Posted by Rich Miller

* SB2639 synopsis

Amends the State Employees Group Insurance Act of 1971. Provides that the infertility insurance provision added by Public Act 103-8 (effective January 1, 2024) applies only to coverage provided on or after July 1, 2024 and before July 1, 2026. Repeals the provision regarding infertility coverage on July 1, 2026.

Amends the Illinois Insurance Code. Provides that no group policy of accident and health insurance providing coverage for more than 25 employees that provides pregnancy related benefits may be issued, amended, delivered, or renewed in this State after January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2025 unless the policy contains coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of infertility. Provides that no group policy of accident and health insurance that provides pregnancy related benefits may be issued, amended, delivered, or renewed in this State on or after January 1, 2026 unless the policy contains coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of infertility; specifies what shall be covered.

Provides that coverage shall be required only if the procedures: (1) are considered medically appropriate based on clinical guidelines or standards developed by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, or the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology; and (2) are performed at medical facilities or clinics that conform to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists guidelines for in vitro fertilization or the American Society for Reproductive Medicine minimum standards for practices offering assisted reproductive technologies. Provides that if those requirements are met, then the procedure shall be covered without any other restrictions or requirements.

Makes changes in the Counties Code, the Illinois Municipal Code, the School Code, the Limited Health Service Organization Act, and the Voluntary Health Services Plans Act to provide that infertility insurance must be included in health insurance coverage for employees. Effective December 31, 2025.

* The bill passed without a single “No” vote. Sen. Sims has not been around this morning, but some other folks who are in town either missed or skipped the vote…

* Hastings press release…

Illinois is one step closer to having a law on the books to help guarantee insurance coverage for medically prescribed infertility treatments, thanks to State Senator Michael E. Hastings.

“My daughter was born via in vitro fertilization, so this initiative is near and dear to my heart,” said Hastings (D-Frankfort). “Unfortunately I know firsthand the heartbreak and stress that families and individuals face due to infertility complications. It is problematic that the health care system is set up in a way that insurance companies can trump the treatment plan recommended by your physician.”

Hastings spearheaded Senate Bill 2639 in response to a constituent whose physician had recommended that they seek in vitro fertilization treatment. However, when the constituent tried to access IVF care, they were told by their insurance provider that they had to complete other procedures before it would be covered by their insurance company, even with the recommendation of their licensed physician.

This measure would ensure that insurance companies provide coverage for infertility treatments that are recommended by a physician without requiring them to complete treatments that were deemed ineffective by their doctor.

Senate Bill 2639 would also allow a licensed physician to immediately approve any of these procedures based on the covered patient’s medical, sexual, and reproductive history, age, physical findings, or diagnostic testing.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, approximately 10% of couples receive medical help to become pregnant.

“We all know at least one person struggling to start or expand their family,” said Hastings. “These personal decisions should be made between a medical professional and patient – not by their insurance company. This legislation removes this barrier and helps alleviate some of the pain and anguish that many families experiencing infertility problems face.”

Senate Bill 2639 passed the Senate with bipartisan support and now heads to the House for further consideration.

* Meanwhile, in Alabama

Providers in Alabama are resuming some in vitro fertilization services Thursday, the day after the state’s Republican governor signed a bill into law aimed at protecting IVF patients and providers from the legal liability imposed on them by a controversial state Supreme Court ruling.

The new law does not address the issue of personhood at the heart of last month’s unprecedented ruling, which prompted some providers to halt some IVF services, and experts say it’s going to take more work to fully protect fertility services in the state.

The Alabama Supreme Court ruled last month that frozen embryos are human beings and those who destroy them can be held liable for wrongful death. Three of the state’s limited pool of IVF providers immediately paused services, sending some families out of state to access treatment and prompting a widespread and urgent demand for lawmakers to provide a fast fix. […]

Still, the law “does not nullify the Supreme Court’s analysis that says the law ought to treat embryos just like people,” Katherine Kraschel, an assistant professor at Northeastern University School of Law, told CNN on Tuesday.

Almost three weeks after the bill was passed and signed into law, this happened

Democratic candidate Marilyn Lands on Tuesday won a special election for a state House seat in Alabama after she made in vitro fertilization and abortion rights central to her campaign.

Lands, a licensed professional counselor, defeated Madison City Council member Teddy Powell, a Republican who once worked as a Defense Department budget analyst. A Republican had held the Huntsville-area seat in the state’s 10th District. […]

Lands had 63% of the vote to Powell’s 37% with all precincts reporting.

* Politico on Personal PAC’s target list

In Illinois, Personal PAC is targeting at least four state legislative races, where it’s endorsing Democrats:

52nd House District: Maria Peterson, a Democrat, v. incumbent state Rep. Martin McLaughlin.

76th House District: Amy “Murri” Briel, a Democrat, v. Liz Bishop, a Republican.

104th House District: Jarrett Clem, a Democrat, v. incumbent state Rep. Brandun Schweizer, a Republican.

114th House District: LaToya Greenwood, a Democrat, v. incumbent state Rep. Kevin Schmidt, a Republican.

Not to mention all the incumbents Personal PAC will try to protect if they find themselves in close races.

       

13 Comments
  1. - Jake - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 10:46 am:

    Nobody “missed” that vote on SB 2639.


  2. - Jocko - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 10:47 am:

    ==The new law does not address the issue of personhood at the heart of last month’s unprecedented ruling==

    So families get all the benefits…while clinics (and clinicians) get all the drawbacks.


  3. - Rich Miller - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 10:48 am:

    ===Nobody “missed” that vote on SB 2639. ===

    Likely Feigenhotz.


  4. - Steve Polite - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 10:54 am:

    “Amends the State Employees Group Insurance Act of 1971″
    I hope this passes. It’s a good start. I would like to see this expanded to private insurance as well. I have a close relative with private insurance who has PCOS and has struggled to get pregnant.


  5. - Rich Miller - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 10:56 am:

    ===I would like to see this expanded to private insurance as well===

    “Amends the Illinois Insurance Code. Provides that no group policy of accident and health insurance providing coverage for more than 25 employees…”


  6. - Steve Polite - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 11:28 am:

    Thanks Rich, I overlooked that part even though I read it. Now I feel a little foolish.


  7. - H-W - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 11:31 am:

    Re: The shared image of the vote recorder

    There are no “no” votes, but there are 10 senators who did not vote. Are they all Republicans? I see my state senator (Tracy, Republican) did not vote according to this photo.


  8. - Demoralized - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 12:01 pm:

    ==after she made in vitro fertilization and abortion rights central to her campaign==

    This topic is going to continue to kill Republicans in elections. You can see their panic as they raced to try and get around the IVF ruling in Alabama. And you can see it in Arizona as they speak out against the abortion ruling there. Republicans know that they are on the wrong side of the abortion debate with the electorate and they are going to be punished at the polls for those views.


  9. - JS Mill - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 12:55 pm:

    =Nobody “missed” that vote on SB 2639.=

    Must have been a mental health day for the ILGOP on that vote.


  10. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 1:23 pm:

    “The Alabama Supreme Court ruled last month that frozen embryos are human beings”

    Shouldn’t they be made to get names and Social Security Numbers? Alabama wouldn’t want more illegals, would it? /s


  11. - Torco Sign - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 1:57 pm:

    In 2022 Maria Peterson almost defeated a stronger Republican (McConchie) than the one she’s facing in 2024. She’s likely to be a pickup for Dems.


  12. - Demoralized - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 3:40 pm:

    ==Shouldn’t they be made to get names and Social Security Numbers?==

    Shouldn’t the “parents” get tax breaks for them too?


  13. - BHJ - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 3:41 pm:

    Tracy was the only “no” on SB 773, another bill expanding IVF coverage


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