Adopt SB139 for State of DE Employees

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SECTION 1: CONTEXT FOR PEOPLE SIGNING THE PETITION

***Note that this advocacy is specific to state of DE employees. Thus, we only need state of DE employees and their romantic partners to sign this petition. If you are not a state employee or their romantic partner, please pass this along to anyone you know who is! This includes people who work for UD, Del State, Del Tech, K-12 public education, the state government, and state law enforcement.

***Note that you do NOT need to be currently experiencing infertility to sign this petition. Any state employee who thinks this will be beneficial is welcome to sign and support those who are.

Background:

On June 30, 2018, the DE Governor signed SB139 into law. You can read the full-text of the bill at http://legis.delaware.gov/BillDetail?legislationId=26219. SB139 is a historic bill that requires health insurance offered in DE to provide infertility treatment coverage. Unfortunately, companies who are self-insured are exempt from the bill, and the state of DE is self-insured. This means that the bill DOES NOT automatically apply to state of DE employees.

In order for the bill to apply to state employees, the State Employee Benefits Committee (SEBC) must vote to adopt the policy. The SEBC will vote at their August 20th meeting on whether they will adopt the bill. Accordingly, Christie Gross, the patient advocate who championed the original bill, and a group of concerned state employees are working on advocacy efforts to encourage the SEBC to adopt this bill. The person who created this petition will personally deliver all of the signatures during an SEBC meeting.

Why should this bill be adopted for state emplyees?

1) According to the National Infertility Association, RESOLVE, infertility affects 1 in 8 couples. 3 in 4 never obtain needed treatment, often because they cannot afford it.

2) Even the best state insurance available provides minimal infertility treatment coverage.

  • For the BCBS PPO plan, there is a maximum lifetime cap of 10,000 for treatment and 15,000 for medication; coverage is for 75% of costs.
  • This may sound like a lot, but it only covers 75% of a single in-vitro fertilization (IVF, a common treatment) retrieval and transfer - essentially a single cycle/month of IVF. This means that a couple has 1 chance for IVF to “work” before their insurance runs out. On average, it takes 2-3 cycles to conceive.
  • 75% coverage means that 25% is the responsibility of the patient. Because IVF is so expensive, this means that the patient is responsible for ~$7,000-10,000 in out of pocket expenses for a single cycle/month AFTER insurance coverage. And then 100% of all charges for subsequent cycles.
  • The financial burden of infertility treatment is thus very high.

3) Infertility is a medical diagnosis and thus should be adequately covered just like any other medical diagnosis.

4) If the SEBC fails to adopt this bill, it puts the state at a competitive disadvantage.

  • State of DE employees who are experiencing infertility may intentionally find another job in order to get adequate coverage.
  • People experiencing infertility may not be interested in or apply for state jobs due to inadequate coverage

5) Adopting SB139 is a good financial decision

  • Due to the high cost of IVF, many women demand multiple embryos be transferred at a single time, with increases the cost of multiple births.
  • Single births have medical costs of 13,000, whereas twins have costs of 100,000 (triplets and more are 400,000). These medical costs are covered under a person’s “normal” (i.e., non-infertility) coverage.
  • Thus, adopting this bill would reduce multiple births, saving the state on medical costs caused by multiple births
  • For every 100 pregnancies from IVF that are single births but could have been twins, about $8.7 million dollars is saved
  • Psychological treatment expenses (therapy) will also be higher with inadequate coverage (see next point)

6) Infertility is a huge emotional burden

  • Being unable to conceive a child is very difficult emotionally
  • People who are unable to afford treatment are more likely to seek psychological counseling, which is covered under the state health insurance plans → this adds to the financial burden of inadequate infertility coverage

What if you are interested in doing more than sign this petition? 

Read our google document, which describes additional ways to engage in advocacy .https://docs.google.com/document/d/1YHYFdoZDp_B7vrquoYWYrSWJeJxXTua4QM6G4zSjE9g/edit?usp=sharing or email DEfertility@gmail.com 


SECTION 2: THE PETITION ITSELF 

As a state of Delaware employee, we request that the SEBC adopt SB 139 for all state employees.

State of Delaware employees deserve adequate infertility insurance coverage. Adopting SB139 is a smart financial decision for the state because it will reduce the costs associated with multiple births, along with other cost-savings measures outlined in the handout we distributed at the meeting. Adopting SB 139 will also help the state recruit and retain valuable employees. In addition, adopting the bill will be a life changing moment for people employed by the state who are experiencing infertility. We feel strongly about adopting this bill and we hope that you seriously consider the positive impact it will have if adopted by the state.



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