The NCFMC Fertility Team is excited about the revised version of AB797 that is moving through the California Assembly this year.
What Was AB-797?
The roots of the original AB797 bill moved through the California state assembly in 1975. Back then it was called the Knox-Keene Health Care Service Plan Act and (among other goals) the bill’s mission was to provide,
“...for the regulation of health insurers by the Department of Insurance. Existing law imposes various requirements and restrictions on health care service plans and health insurers, including, among other things, a requirement that every group health care service plan contract or health insurance policy that is issued, amended, or renewed on or after January 1, 1990, offer coverage for the treatment of infertility, except in vitro fertilization,” (openstates.org).
That January 1, 1990 revision of the Knox-Keene Health Care Service Plan Act was the original version of AB797. However, as any couple going through fertility treatments knows, IVF is often the last stop on the fertility treatment journey, and it’s an expensive one. That is especially true if you are an individual and/or part of the LGBTQ+ community, where fertility treatments are rarely covered unless you have a progressive employer.
Introducing the (Hopefully) New & Improved AB797
If the revised version of AB797 passes, it will amend the current fertility health insurance legislation and revise the definition of fertility and some of the existing bill’s limitations and stringent parameters. The new bill ensures that by January 1, 2022 every health insurance carrier must:
- Provide coverage for fertility treatment in all plans
- Be inclusive of singles as well as the LGBTQ+ community
- Eliminate exemptions for employers that are affiliated with a religion or spiritual system that opposes any or all aspects of fertility treatment
- Include In vitro fertilization as part of the covered services (the current AB797 bill excludes IVF from having to be included in participants coverage)
Northern California Fertility Medical Center doctors and staff eagerly support the revised AB797 bill. We embrace any forward movement in the fertility treatment realm, especially those that make fertility treatment more widely available – not to mention affordable – to all.
Contact our office to learn more about how we can support you on your fertility journey.