Fixing fertility coverage

In a world where roughly one in 10 people struggles with infertility, one may think that treatments would be affordable and accessible. But, sadly, that’s not the case. At least not in Pennsylvania. 

Infertility affects men and women equally, and average costs for successful treatments range from $18,000 to $85,000. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania insurers are not required to cover any of these expenses. With an astronomical price tag like this, couples may face difficult life decisions such as whether to refinance their home or move out of the commonwealth, just to try to have a baby.

During National Infertility Awareness Week, it’s important to note that each of our neighboring states has infertility insurance laws. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania treats starting a family as a privilege instead of a right. This seems like an issue only impacting those trying to conceive, but it’s deeper than that. 

Results from the 2020 Census show Pennsylvania’s population growth is relatively stagnant. Since 2010, it’s only gone up 2.4%. Yet, nationally, the population increased 7.4%. Why is this? One piece of the answer to that question is that, frankly, other states have more to offer aspiring parents. 

Why does this matter to anyone not struggling with having children? If people are not inclined to live in Pennsylvania, it can create a domino effect leading directly to you and your will to stay here.

When just one person answers the census, they bring more than $1,000 in federal funding back to Pennsylvania. These are public dollars that we depend on to improve our infrastructure, provide quality social services, public transportation programs and so much more. 

When Pennsylvania’s middle-class couples and young working professionals who have been trying for a baby for too long pick up and move to New Jersey or Maryland to fulfill their dream of having children, they take more than just their talent and taxes with them. They also take valuable federal funding because this is calculated on a per capita basis. If our share of these federal dollars diminished, this would directly impact our quality of life in our commonwealth. 

We need to entice people to move to, or stay, in Pennsylvania and raise their families here. House Bill 2142 would help with that. 

Our legislation would require insurance companies in Pennsylvania to provide coverage for fertility treatment. If passed, this bill would help break down barriers for all couples and residents looking to start a family without setting any parents-to-be back tens of thousands of dollars before entering parenthood. 

Starting a family shouldn’t have to be a game of chance. It shouldn’t only be an option for the rich or depend on where you work. 

If you are the one in 10 dealt the infertility card, you shouldn’t have to fold, because treatment exists. Let’s pass H.B. 2142 and make fertility treatment available to every loving Pennsylvania home.

State Reps. Jennifer O’Mara, Steve Malagari and Sara Innamorato