Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Connecticut says insurers don't have to pay for infertility treatments in women older than 40

This AP report describes a new law in Connecticut that, while requiring insurance companies to cover the costs of infertility treatment, allows companies to deny this benefit to women older than 40. Similar age-based cutoffs exist in New York (at age 44) and New Jersey (46). There is no federal law requiring insurers to pay for infertility treatments, and only 15 states (including Connecticut) have such laws on the books. Some groups, including RESOLVE: the National Infertility Association, plan to fight the age restriction in Connecticut; they worry that this restriction could be read as a precedent in other states.

Many, many ethical questions around this one: You've got medicalization questions (Is infertility a disease?), health-care resource allocation questions (Should efforts to help would-be parents conceive be categorized as medical treatment? Is infertility more worthy of insurance coverage than, say, mental health parity?), questions about procreative liberty (Given the costs, likelihood of complications, etc., should women over a certain age do everything possible to conceive?), and questions about the nature of motherhood (Does the kid need to have your DNA for you to be a "real" mother?).

Talk amongst yourselves . . .

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