Chairs Alzate and Cano introduce bills requiring insurance coverage for diagnosing and treating infertility


            STATE HOUSE – Rep. Karen Alzate and Sen. Sandra Cano have introduced two pieces of legislation that would both mandate all insurance contracts, plans or policies provide insurance coverage for the expense of diagnosing and treating infertility.

            Representative Alzate chairs the House Special Legislation Committee and Senator Cano chairs the Senate Education Committee.

            “As we have seen with the Supreme Court and the recent ruling of the Alabama Supreme Court, reproductive health rights are under attack and these bills will ensure that individuals in need of infertility care will be able to access these crucial health care services without fear of cost or persecution.  These bills will leave reproductive health care choices up to patients and their doctors – the only individuals who should have any say over health care decisions,” said Representative Alzate (D-Dist. 60, Pawtucket, Central Falls).

            “As someone who has experienced infertility issues and utilized IVF procedures, I know that experiencing infertility is a devastating and stressful time for any individual or couple who wishes to start or expand their family.  These bills will relieve some of that stress by ensuring that needed treatments are covered by insurance for prospective parents experiencing infertility issues, hopefully then leading to the birth of a healthy baby and a lifetime of wonderful experiences and memories,” said Senator Cano (D-Dist. 8, Pawtucket).

            The first bill (2024-H 7878, 2024-S 2396) requires coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of infertility for women between the ages of 25 and 42 years, including preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) in conjunction with in vitro fertilization (IVF).  PGD is defined as a technique used in conjunction with IVF to test embryos for specific genetic disorders prior to their transfer to the uterus and infertility is defined in the bill as the condition of an otherwise presumably healthy individual who is unable to conceive or sustain a pregnancy during a period of one year.

            The second bill (2024-H 7877) is nearly identical to the first bill, but it strikes out the eligibility provision that designates only women between the ages of 25 and 42 years are eligible for the reimbursement.  It also includes language that would prohibit precluding any individual or couple, including same-sex couples, who are otherwise qualified for reimbursement for a test or treatment of infertility.  Chairs Alzate and Cano note that the second piece of legislation was introduced to be more inclusive for all Rhode Island residents.  Senator Cano will be introducing the legislation in the Senate.

            Representative Alzate’s bills have been referred to the House Health and Human Services Committee and Senator Cano’s bill has been referred to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.