Democrats Push for Federal Employee IVF Coverage

( – Congressional Democrats are calling on the Biden administration to include expanded in-vitro fertilization coverage as part of the federal employee insurance program, arguing that the move was needed in light of the recent uproar following the February ruling of the Alabama Supreme Court, Politico reported.

The current insurance program for the federal government’s more than 8 million employees and their families includes only limited IVF coverage, forcing many federal workers to pay out of pocket if they seek to pursue IVF.

Over 175 Democrat lawmakers from both chambers signed a letter asking the Office of Personnel Management to require the Federal Employee Health Benefit insurance policies to include full IVF coverage for all employees.

The Alabama Supreme Court in February ruled that in a civil lawsuit against an IVF provider, parents of destroyed embryos could sue for wrongful death. The court determined that under the state’s constitution, unborn children are protected regardless of “physical location” or stage of development.

The ruling prompted several of the state’s IVF facilities to temporarily pause services and sent a panicked shockwave across the country.

In response to the decision, the Alabama legislature passed legislation shielding IVF providers from civil liability, and the bill was quickly signed into law by Republican Governor Kay Ivey.

Since the Alabama ruling, Democrats in Washington have been seeking ways to protect IVF treatment.

In his State of the Union address last month, President Biden called on lawmakers to pass legislation protecting IVF treatment. However, with Republicans in control of the House, Democrats feared that such a law would be difficult to pass so they are asking the White House to find ways to act unilaterally.

In their April 22 letter to OPM Director Kiran Ahuja, 176 Democrat lawmakers, led by Virginia Rep. Gerry Connolly and Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth, cited the Alabama ruling as the reason for their request for expanded IVF coverage starting in 2025.

Democrats argue that as the country’s largest employer-sponsored health insurance program the rest of the industry may follow suit if the Federal Employee Health Benefit insurance program expanded IVF coverage.

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