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Measure on insurance for infertility advances

The resolution calls for a study into the impact of expanding treatment coverage

By Cathy Bussewitz / Associated Press

POSTED:



Hawaii lawmakers are weighing whether insurance companies should be required to cover more treatments for infertility and to update a law that some say discriminates against unmarried women.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 35 calls on the state auditor to study the social and economic impacts of the fertility-coverage proposal.

"Women are starting their families later, which raises all sorts of concerns about access to procedures," said Rep. Della Au Bellati, chairwoman of the House Health Committee, which advanced the resolution. It now goes to the Finance Committee.

Hawaii already requires insurers to cover in-vitro fertilization, but the law has limits that proponents say unfairly discriminate against single women. For example, under current Hawaii law insurers are required to provide treatment only to married women, using sperm supplied by a woman's spouse. Those who don't meet the requirements have to pay $15,000 to $20,000 per procedure, which often has to be repeated.

That creates two classes of women, said Naunanikinau Kamalii, a lawyer, in comments to the Legislature.

"Marital status has no rational relation to the treatment of a medical diagnosis and condition of infertility," Kamalii said.

But the Hawaii Catholic Conference has said that religious institutions should not be forced to provide services that go against the tenets of their faith. The fact that advanced procedures have been developed does not mean those procedures are morally acceptable, the group said.

"Infertility treatment for anybody, whether you're married or single, is not consistent with Catholic teaching," said Walter Yoshimitsu, executive director of Hawaii Catholic Conference. "Our belief is that life begins at the moment that the egg is fertilized. And if you discard them, that is tantamount to abortion."

That's because the process of in-vitro fertilization involves fertilizing eggs outside the womb and then choosing one to insert in a womb, Yoshimitsu said.

Senate Bill 2909, which sought to mandate expanded treatment options, passed the Senate, but it died when it never got a hearing in the House.

The Chamber of Commerce had opposed the bill, arguing that it would increase health care costs of businesses that would not be able to pass those costs on to consumers.

The Kaiser Permanente health care company had supported the intent of the bill, but it asked for the auditor to conduct a study of the proposal instead.

"Done correctly, health-care reform can reduce costs while simultaneously improving the quality of care," the company said in comments to the Legislature. "However, this will not happen if the emphasis is shifted to costly mandates that inevitably drive up the price of health insurance, rather than emphasizing prevention."






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inverse wrote:
Am I missing something? An older unmarried woman wants to have children but biologically her body is naturally rejecting that notion, she cannot afford the expensive in vitro fertilization procedure on her own yer she wants everyone else to pay for her procedure. If this single woman cannot afford this elective procedure , how,can she afford to be able to financially raise the child on her own? Does this woman expect to raise this child through gov't assistant programs? Also it is a fact older woman who have problems getting pregnant have such problem for a reason including having a much higher health risk of pregnancy and giving birth to a child with genetic or other problems. Don't want to bring religion in the discussion cause believe in evolution but these older woman who are having problem getting pregnant is Darwinistic or gods way of saying maybe having children or more children is not in the cards. Govt' meddling and forcing everyone to pay for such an elected medical procedure does NOT appear in the best interest of that woman, the public AND that potentially unborn child . The 'discrimination' on these woman are based on biological and their own economic factors and and NOT societal or governmental discrimination that Hawaii State legislatures have to meddle in.
on April 16,2014 | 03:25AM
FluidMotion wrote:
"If this single woman cannot afford this elective procedure , how,can she afford to be able to financially raise the child on her own?" This basically sums up my feelings exactly.
on April 16,2014 | 04:28AM
soundofreason wrote:
Great sum up.
on April 16,2014 | 07:06AM
cojef wrote:
It's all about entitlements, let someone else pay for it.
on April 16,2014 | 12:16PM
what wrote:
Exactly. inverse's excellent reasoning on this subject will be instantly rejected by the entitlement, "get something for nothing" crowd. The ones who pay for nothing, but want someone else to pay for everything.
on April 16,2014 | 12:36PM
BlueDolphin53 wrote:
Most coherent, rational and logical summary on this subject that I've ever heard! Well done.
on April 16,2014 | 07:55AM
GooglyMoogly wrote:
Until there is a financial requirement for parenthood (for both singles AND married couples), your point is moot. But I'm sure all the single women who might have a hard time coming up with $20k all at once are appreciative of you deciding that they can't afford to raise a child. Your good deed for the day has been done.
on April 16,2014 | 10:31AM
Larry01 wrote:
Thank you for providing the other side. People around here make so many assumptions about people they don't know.
on April 16,2014 | 12:53PM
psimmons wrote:
Oh brother. I pay 100% expenses for prescription glasses and you're telling me legislators are debating whether insurance should subsidize infertility treatments? Put egos aside people and let nature take its natural course. If multiple births result from these treatments am I as a taxpayer subsidizing the raising of these kids? I've already helped to raise over 100,000 keiki.
on April 16,2014 | 03:31AM
serious wrote:
psimmons--don't you get it? Anyone born in Hawaii votes Democratic--they needs more votes. I agree, there are a ton of issues they should debate--lottery, mandatory helmet use to avoid all these suicidal two wheeler incidents we see everyday in the paper, Jone Act, get rid of the bottle tax which does nothing but put homeless on the street digging into trash cans.
on April 16,2014 | 10:13AM
onevoice82 wrote:
single, widowed or divorced woman should not "choose" to have children, period end of story. How selfish are you to willfully raise a child without the benefit of a father. Shame on you! And you "feministas" need not respond to this comment, I have heard all your lies, rhetoric and supposed studies of children having no disadvantage being raised without a father and they and you are wrong. Stop making the public and these children pay for these selfish acts for the rest of our lives!
on April 16,2014 | 04:58AM
serious wrote:
onevoice82--agreed, but look at the welfare rolls in Hawaii state. AND, the amount they get!!! And, of course, who would they vote for?
on April 16,2014 | 10:15AM
Grimbold wrote:
This is crazy: Only sickness should be an insurance case! People should get rather rewarded for having no children on this overpopulated planet ! Insurance premiums are skyrocketing because of frivolous demands.
on April 16,2014 | 07:10AM
Mr_Ton wrote:
Religion should not be a factor in any medical discussion. It has absolutely no relevance to medicine.
on April 16,2014 | 10:04AM
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