Montana Considers Requiring Insurance to Cover Fertility Preservation for Cancer Patients

by | Apr 28, 2023 | Health

Katie Beall was diagnosed with breast cancer on March 1, 2022. Two days later, doctors told her the chemotherapy she needed would make her infertile. The next day, she started looking into how she could freeze her eggs, which would give her the option of becoming a mother in the future.

Twenty-three days after her cancer diagnosis, the 36-year-old Helena resident said, she had put $7,579 on three credit cards to pay for her out-of-pocket fertility preservation costs.

Her insurance didn’t cover it. In Montana, fertility preservation for newly diagnosed cancer patients whose pending treatment could cause infertility isn’t required to be covered by insurance.

On March 15, 2023, Beall finished her chemotherapy and began to lobby Montana’s legislature to change that.

Beall has taken the helm in advocating for a bill that would require insurance to cover the initial costs of fertility preservation for people diagnosed with cancer. That includes requiring coverage of appointments with a reproductive endocrinologist and the retrieval of sperm, eggs, or embryos, but not their storage or procedures like in vitro fertilization.

Amid a chaotic end to Montana’s legislative session, the bill, which has already been approved by the state Senate, is close to passing its final hurdle. The legislature is scheduled to end its 90-day session on May 5, which means the bill has just a few days before the House of Representatives will need to give it final approval before it heads to the governor’s desk.

The bill has bipartisan support, but Beall is worried about how lawmaker …

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