DENVER (CBS4) – Carly Rutledge was 16 years old when she was diagnosed with stage four bone cancer.
“I was told I was most likely not going to survive.”
Chemotherapy and radiation would save her life, but at a devastating cost. The treatment destroyed not only her cancer, but her ability to have children.
She says no one discussed egg preservation. Even if they had, she says, cost would have likely been a barrier.
“Cancer patients are sacrificing their future children and their fertility for survival, and that trade is just not fair.”
Representatives Kerry Tipper and Leslie Herod agree. They’ve introduced a bill that would require insurance companies to cover diagnosis and treatment of infertility.
“Income should not be the barrier to becoming a parent. Fertility treatment should not be left for those who are wealthy,” said Herod.
Tipper says infertility impacts one in eight people, including her. She and her husband have been trying to have kids for eight years.
“We have insurance coverage. I can’t imagine what it would feel like to know that essentially a cure, a solution is out of my reach just because I don’t have money to pay out of pocket.”
At 25 years old, Rutledge is already saving for infertility treatment. After all, she says, doctors gave her only an 8% chance of surviving cancer.
“I’m not ever going to write off motherhood for an option for me.”
Tipper says other states with similar laws have seen minimal increases in premiums, but the Colorado Association of Health Plans – which represents 13 insurers who cover three million Coloradans – estimates the bill would increase premiums by $150 a year for a family of four.
The bill got its first committee hearing on Wednesday. It passed by a unanimous vote.