STATE HOUSE – The Senate today approved legislation
sponsored by Senate Majority Whip Maryellen Goodwin that would require health
insurers in Rhode Island to cover fertility preservation services for patients
undergoing medical treatments that could cause infertility.
The bill is aimed primarily at helping cancer patients,
since treatments like radiation and chemotherapy can cause infertility.
“If infertility is a risk of the treatment a patient needs,
fertility preservation is a medical need that should also be covered by
insurance. It’s not acceptable that a person who is already coping with cancer
and its treatment, for example, should also be dealt the blow of being
potentially robbed of the ability to have children when there is a way to
protect them. Insurers should be covering fertility preservation in this
situation because it is necessary to protect patients from losing a very
precious biological ability,” said Senator Goodwin (D-Dist. 1, Providence).
The legislation (2017-S 0821A)
would require insurers to cover standard fertility preservation services when a
medically necessary medical treatment may directly or indirectly cause
Common cancer treatments, including radiation, chemotherapy
and some hormone therapies, can compromise a person’s ability to achieve
pregnancy during his or her reproductive years.
The bill will now go to the House of Representatives, where
Rep. Patricia A. Serpa (D-Dist. 27, West Warwick, Coventry, Warwick) is
sponsoring companion legislation (2017-H 6170).