Inequities in health and access to healthcare, including infertility care, are pervasive in the United States. Well-documented disparities in access to infertility care reveal that people of color, people with low incomes, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQ community receive infertility treatment at disproportionately low rates. In recent years, legislatures across the country have recognized infertility as a public health concern and acted to make infertility care affordable and accessible. They have done so by enacting legislation establishing state insurance mandates requiring some or most private health insurance plans to include certain minimum levels of coverage for infertility diagnosis and treatment, including IVF. However, the limited number of private insurance markets and public programs covering infertility care, combined with high out-of-pocket expenses result in significant economic barriers to needed infertility treatment.
Laws and policies that promote equitable access to infertility care, including those that mandate insurance coverage, help to ensure the full spectrum of reproductive rights, including the rights to make decisions about one’s reproductive life, health, equality and non-discrimination, and benefit from scientific progress. Human rights principles, including the ones outlined in this resource, should guide the development of such policies.