Tuesday, March 1, 2011
One state lawmaker said people who get cancer at a young age shouldn't have to choose between treatment and future fertility.
Democratic Assemblyman Anthony Portantino is pushing legislation that would require insurance companies to cover fertility preservation for patients undergoing treatments like chemotherapy. Such treatments can affect fertility. Portantino said the coverage is logical.
“I look at it as a loophole,” Portantino said. “If you undergo cancer treatment and you have to have reconstructive surgery that’s covered, but if you’re going to undergo cancer treatment and you’re going to lose your reproductive ability, that’s not covered and I just don’t think that’s fair.”
Portantino said fertility preservation would include options like storing eggs or embryos. He doesn’t have an estimate for how much the new coverage would cost insurance companies, but said it’s a relatively small group of people who’d be affected.
Historically, insurance companies have opposed coverage mandates and argued that they increase costs for everyone.