March 16, 2011

Possible Infertility Coverage Mandate Coming to Maine

Background photo by Justin Russell via Flickr.
Mainers: I don't want to get your hopes up, but there is some seriously big, exciting news coming to your neck of the woods:

Representative Gary Knight has sponsored a bill that seeks to mandate insurance coverage for infertility patients in the state of Maine. I told you: big, exciting news. You can read the full text of the proposed legislation for LD 720 here. What's particularly awesome? Rep. Knight is a Republican. So is his co-sponsor, Assistant Majority Whip, Rep. Andre E. Cushing III. Gentlemen, I applaud you for bucking an otherwise disturbing trend by some of your Republican colleagues in other states. This is the kind of progressive, supportive legislation we'd like to see more of from your party.

Even bigger news? The Maine legislature has put LD 720 on the hearing docket a week from today. The public hearing is Wednesday, March 23 at 1:00pm in room 220 at the Maine State House. Time will be allotted for brief, personal testimony. If this bill is going to get any kind of support from the rest of the Maine legislature, it is critical that at least 20-30 people show up to this public hearing.

Do you live in Maine? Do you know a Mainer struggling with infertility? Please share this post with them and encourage them to attend and if comfortable, to share their stories with legislators! Sharing your stories of what this kind of insurance coverage could mean to you personally can be the tipping point for an infertility mandate's success. Trust me: it's what won over Massachussetts legislators in 1987 when the infertility mandate was first made into law here. The way has been paved - it's up to Mainers to continue the legacy of 15 other states that have mandated infertility coverage.

Ah, but there's always a catch.

It should be very important to note that there are two controversial provisions within LD 720 as it is currently written:

1. Coverage would only be extended to married couples; and
2. Coverage would be denied if an infertility diagnosis was the result of an STI.

RESOLVE of New England does not fully support the bill as written, however, it is important to build momentum for the bill as it is my understanding that Rep. Knight would seek amendments to the bill to remove these two controversial provisions.

How can you help spread the word and show support for mandated infertility coverage in Maine?
  1. Direct your Mainer friends and bloggers over to this post: Public hearing next week on proposed infertility mandate in Maine
  2. Tweet about the hearing date and time, like this: "Attn Maine: do u want #infertility coverage mandated in ur state? Tell ur legislators on Wed 3/23 at 1pm! Details here:"
  3. Do you live in Maine? Can you get to the State House next Wednesday at 1pm? Awesome - do it!
  4. Blog about it, post about it on Facebook - spread the news and share with others!
How awesome would it be if Maine could become the 16th state to mandate coverage? Maine: you could be a part of history.

Let's get crackin' readers and spread the word!


Melissa said...

Sigh. When will the midwest join the bandwagon? Good job, Maine!! I should live in the Northeast!

Kira said...

We need this in Colorado! Hope it passes and starts a national movement.

foxy said...

thanks for getting the word out! I don't know anyone in maine, but will submit this to lfca and blog about it myself!

Anonymous said...

Way to go Maine! Parenthood should not be reserved for the wealthy, nor should we have to go into debt to become parents. I have shared this on facebook!

PFM said...

great info. I posted on my blog.

Anonymous said...

Man I wish I had known abou the hearings. I would have been there. I live in Maine and will get busy contacting legislators. Thanks for the info.

Anonymous said...

Im not married...but I feel that if you are willing to incur the cost of fertility treatments with or without insurance, it's pretty extensive, pretty determined and as committed as any married couples attempt to conceive. I am not married, but have been trying to conceive for two years now, why should I be denied help???