Senator Portantino's Fertility Preservation Bill Signed by the Governor

Published : Tuesday, October 22, 2019 | 5:15 AM

Senator Anthony J. Portantino

Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a bill authored by Pasadena-area Senator Anthony J. Portantino’s that ensures health insurance coverage for cancer patients and others fighting disease who want the option to protect their fertility.

Senate Bill 600 specifically adds a section to the California Health and Safety Code – Section 1374.551 – that states when a covered treatment may directly or indirectly cause iatrogenic infertility in a patient, standard fertility preservation services are a basic health care service.

The bill valuable legislation ensures health insurance coverage for cancer patients and others fighting disease who want the option to protect their fertility, the senator said.

“Every day, I feel blessed and grateful for the opportunity to be a parent but unfortunately for many due to the vague and imprecise health code language, people are faced with the heartbreaking decision of curing their cancer and losing their fertility,” Portantino said in a statement. “This bill will make it abundantly clear that patients will have the opportunity to preserve fertility options prior to chemo and other aggressive treatments.”

Portantino’s statement said insurance policies and health plans cover a wide variety of cancer treatments and follow-up procedures due to the effects of said treatments. Examples of this include reconstructive surgery and fertility preservation.

Among these policies and health plans, there is confusion in the definition of fertility preservation which leaves many patients without coverage due to the legal ambiguity, the statement continued.

“The lack of clarity in insurance coverage regulation for these services causes patients to sadly forego fertility preservation treatment. As a result, many have had to sacrifice their chance of future parenthood. This bill makes clear that these services are covered benefits so that patients can obtain fertility preservation immediately and focus on their treatment.”

SB 600 is sponsored by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, Alliance for Fertility Preservation and Fertile Action, the statement said.

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