by: ASRM Office of Public Affairs
Published in ASRM Bulletin Volume 15, Number 36
The 2013 California legislative year ended mid-September and Governor Brown has now acted on all bills that reached his desk.
The Governor signed into law AB 460, a bill to protect infertility insurance coverage decisions from discrimination based on sexual orientation. Insurance coverage for infertility is based on a definition of infertility that requires the inability to conceive a pregnancy or carry a pregnancy to a live birth after a year or more of regular sexual relations without contraception. Failure to have an opposite sex partner renders this definition impractical, hence the need for legislation. Language in the bill clarified that nothing in this bill should interfere with the clinical judgment of a physician and surgeon, and that insurers and HMOs are prohibited from making coverage decisions on a discriminatory basis.
Unfortunately, the Governor vetoed AB 912, a bill mandating fertility preservation services for patients with cancer and other diseases. The Governor cited Affordable Care Act implementation concerns in his veto message, and while the ACA does not address infertility or infertility preservation, it does contain a number of mandates which insurers must newly cover. ASRM and its cosponsor Fertile Action, along with several cancer groups, worked diligently to educate state policymakers on the merits of the legislation and the low cost to insurers of fertility preservation coverage. While it often takes multiple attempts for bills promoting new ideas to be successful, ASRM is deeply disappointed in the Governor’s veto of this bill.
The Governor previously vetoed another bill AB 926, which would have allowed egg donors to be compensated for donating to medical research studies.
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