Advocating for infertility treatment benefits is critical to ensure access to treatment for all. Whether you have already been able to build your family either by paying out of pocket for treatment or by using insurance, or even if you are still in the process of looking for treatment, it is important to advocate to your legislators. Legislators need to understand the need for fertility health care benefits and family building legislation. The best person to explain this to them is you.
Legislators appreciate learning the stories of their constituents and find it easier to relate to them on a personal level, rather than a form letter with many signatures. Legislators have told us mass generated letters are not taken seriously. Personal correspondence with legislators is the most effective manner of communicating. Of course – the more people take interest in contacting their legislators regarding a certain issue, the more likely it is that they will be heard and the legislation will be in their favor. (For more advice about how to keep correspondence with legislators effective, see these Words of Expertise.)
Please use the checklist below to prepare for communicating with your legislator regarding fertility health care benefits and family building legislation.
Communicating with Your Legislator (click for link to 1 page PDF checklist file for users to print).
Sharon and Andy: Success Story
“We had been through heartbreak after heartbreak, after heartbreak, after heartbreak in our efforts to give our beautiful daughter a younger sibling. Insurance companies wouldn’t help, because we were able to get pregnant, we just couldn’t stay pregnant (as if the point of exercise is to be pregnant, not to have a child!). Finally, with the help of some generous family members, we were able to pay for one round of IVF/PGD, to take one shot at successfully enriching our family and our lives. We were lucky – so lucky – and our son was born nine months later. Because we don’t believe it’s fair that only those who can scrape together the money are able to take a shot at beating the disease called infertility, we have become advocates for family building legislation. We have written letters, testified at hearings and met with legislators in support of a mandate for insurance companies to cover this agonizing disease. We saw one bill become law in 2010. We hope our efforts continue to help future couples facing what we faced.”
RESOURCES TO SUPPORT ALL CONVERSATIONS
When communicating with employers, insurers and legislators, it is critical to share facts which support your argument that it is affordable for you to receive family building benefits, including the diagnosis and treatment of Infertility. Fertility Within Reach is happy to provide you with the following which provides supporting facts and sources to best prepare you:
Resources to Support all Conversations