Landmark bill expands insurance coverage for infertility in CT

NORWALK, Conn, (WTNH) — Giving birth to daughter, Poppy, brought more joy than this first time mom ever imagined.

But soon after, Melissa Thompson’s life came crashing down

A diagnosis of breast cancer led to an agonizing situation.

Doctors told Melissa, “The chemotherapy you need will cause infertility.”

Which led her to this, “so the question is, do you save yourself or do you save your future?”

Related Content: Financial help for CT couples struggling to get pregnant

Melissa’s insurance company okayed her decision to freeze her eggs. However, denied the coverage upon learning Melissa had cancer – not infertility.

She is still paying off the $12,000 bill, the cost of preserving her eggs, of which she charged on a credit card. “I probably would have explored the option of taking a less toxic chemotherapy in order to preserve my fertility which would then compromise my outcome for myself,” she explained.

“On a human level, a patient should never have to choose between cancer treatments and having a family later. Thankfully with this new bill, you don’t have to,” says Fertility Specialist Dr. Joshua Hurwitz with Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut.

He was among those who worked alongside Melissa to pass a landmark bill in Connecticut – now dubbed Melissa’s Law.

“Patients who have medical conditions requiring fertility preservation such as cancer are now going to be covered,” he explained.

Related Content: US fertility rate hits a record low

It’s a procedure with a fairly successful pregnancy rate.

“In reproductive medicine today, patients can expect the same pregnancy and family building success with their frozen sperm or eggs later on after cancer treatments that they would expect right now without ever having to grow through any of that,” says Dr. Hurwitz.

Now more people can preserve their options.

“I can’t fix it for myself but I can fix it for others,” says Melissa.

Connecticut is the first state to pass the expanded coverage — Rhode Island has since followed suit.

It takes effect January 1st.

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