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Significance of Establishing and Imposing State Mandates for Infertility Patients
The number of women and couples who are waiting to conceive has risen steadily since the 1980's. Even though infertility is specified as a disease, the treatments and procedures for infertility are not yet recognized by the government as medically necessary. Currently, 15 states have a mandate in place that either offer coverage or provide coverage for infertility services including: in-vitro fertilization, artificial insemination, and egg freezing. Although these states all have a mandate, not all laws require or provide the necessary benefits. Each state has their own set of requirements and conditions that must be fulfilled in order for a patient to receive such benefits. While the cost and demand for IVF is on the rise, programs such as the Affordable Care Act and Medi-Cal do not provide or offer any coverage of benefits for infertility treatments and procedures. Using web-based searches as well as the California State University, Northridge library archive of peer reviewed journals, this review distinguishes the vast utilization of infertility services and the lack of federal acknowledgment and regulation from the government. The results show that in the United States as well as in other countries, the number of children being born is statistically lower than the number of retirees and elderly. If this trend continues, low birth rates will negatively affect the country both economically and socially. Without the establishment of state mandates, not all patients seeking treatment will have equal opportunity to pursue and utilize higher quality care services. Along with the intervention and addition of government policies, laws will provide proper guidelines and regulations for fertility clinics across the United States.