There’s no question that a cancer diagnosis and treatment can wreak havoc on anyone’s life, in countless ways. Anyone who wants to have the option of later conceiving or fathering a child may find that common cancer treatments like radiation and chemotherapy cause irreversible damage to the reproductive system. In other cases, reproductive organs need to be removed entirely in an attempt to stop the cancer from spreading. While fertility preservation efforts are available, they are not covered by most insurance plans. This can make the price tag – up to $20,000 – unattainable for many people. That means would-be parents who are cancer survivors may find they cannot parent biological children.
A Maryland bill that has garnered legislative approval and is now waiting for the Governor’s signature would require insurance companies to cover the cost of many standard procedures designed to protect patients’ fertility, including freezing patients’ eggs or sperm, if their cancer treatment could result in their infertility. The bill, as written, would not cover the cost of freezing patients’ embryos or the annual cost of storing frozen eggs or sperm.
According to the National Cancer Institute, cancer could affect the fertility of approximately 79,000 patients each year who are diagnosed while still in their child-bearing years. Opponents of the legislation, including insurance companies and religious organizations, claim that the added cost of making insurers cover these fertility treatments could have a significant impact on everyone’s insurance rates. However, before the bill was passed, an independent audit was commissioned, and the conclusion was that rate hikes would be minimal.
If the bill is signed into law, Maryland will be among several states that have either passed fertility legislation in recent years or have such legislation on the docket currently, including Connecticut, Rhode Island, California, and New York.
Some of the services we provide to assist our clients include counseling future parents, surrogates, egg donors, sperm donors and embryo donors on the state of the law with respect to the different reproduction methods available; drafting of contract(s) between the parents and their surrogate, egg donor, sperm donor or embryo donor; and assisting future parents in finalizing their parental rights.
Our firm provides comprehensive legal and counseling services for those using assisted reproduction with a third party. Each client is ensured of receiving personalized attention, support and counseling. Contact us today to learn more!