May 22, 2012

Advocacy and Access to Care: The Importance of Getting Involved

Vote no on HB 217On May 2nd, the New Hampshire State Senate was set to vote on HB 217. If this piece of legislation passed as written, in-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment for infertility may have been in jeopardy in the State of New Hampshire. Fortunately, the New Hampshire State Senate moved to postpone the vote until May 9th, pending additional information, and then once again postponed the vote until May 16th until language in the bill could be reviewed and amended further. What helped to postpone the vote? It was the advocacy and feedback from both patients and their health care providers in New Hampshire. Starting on April 30 and continuing through May 2nd, patients and health care providers contacted their respective State Senator, or State Representative, and asked them to vote “No” on HB 217. In addition to those efforts, patient organizations like 1) Resolve of New England and 2) Resolve: The National Infertility Organization mobilized their teams to help protect patients and their access to infertility services. The NH State Senate did vote and pass HB217 on May 16th. However, there was amended language added that changed the definition of fetus to mean an unborn offspring, from the embryo stage which is the end of the eighth week after conception when major structures have formed, until birth. The amended bill will not impact the infertility community the way it would have if the original language remained. HB 217 may go back to the NH State House of Representatives or move onto to the Governor. For more information and updated on HB 217, please click here.

New Hampshire is one of 35 states in the US without mandated infertility coverage. This means that patients still have limited access to treatment (such as IVF) due to cost. Fortunately for patients, Fertility Centers of New England recognizes that cost is a barrier to treatment and we offer patients without fertility insurance coverage 1) free initial consults, 2) the most cost competitive program for IVF in New England, called IVF Assist and 3) the recently launched Free IVF Cycle contest for eligible patients. Patients can contact us at 877-FCNE-IVF or via our website.

We want to extend our thanks and appreciation to all the patients, health care providers, and advocacy organizations that played a role in helping to protect access to infertility treatment in New Hampshire.

Brian E.

Brian E. Miller, Ph.D.