We have our work cut out for us. Our own Dr. Dan Gehlbach had the opportunity to be interviewed, along with one of our fertility patients, on 41 Action News not long ago. While the interview includes an inspiring story of how in vitro fertilization, IVF, helped turn an infertile couple into a happy family, we warned that the news is not all good.
You’ll also hear our patient talk about the difficulties she and her husband faced due to the fact that their Missouri insurance provider did not cover these kinds of infertility treatment procedures, for the simple reason that the state doesn’t mandate such coverage. That’s one of the reasons Missouri ranks 48th among the states (and Washington D.C.) on the ASRM RESOLVE Fertility Scorecard, a national ranking of each state’s relative “fertility friendliness.” Kansas is doing better, but not by much — it currently ranks a less-than-mediocre 33rd.
What Goes into Rating a State’s Fertility-Friendless?
RESOLVE, the National Infertility Association, measures such factors as:
- Whether the state mandates fertility insurance coverage
- How favorable its laws and lawmakers are to medical fertility methods
- The ratio of accredited fertility clinics to infertile residents
- How many RESOLVE support groups it has
What Can You Do to Advocate for Infertility Awareness?
Fortunately, you can take steps to improve your state’s place on this scorecard; Dr. Gehlbach mentions some of these in his interview. For starters, write or phone your Congressperson to let them know how important fertility measures are to you. Also, ask your employer whether any of your workplace insurance options include coverage for fertility treatment — and if not, why not.
Contact Midwest Reproductive Center for more ideas about how we can make our voices heard, and exert the necessary pressure to make the Midwest a more fertility-friendly place!