Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and House Representative Gerry Connolly (D-VA) last week introduced bipartisan legislation to expand and protect access to in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and other assisted reproductive technology (ART).
If passed, the Family Building FEHB Fairness Act would require Federal Employees Health Benefit (FEHB) program carriers to cover IVF and ART. It would also give the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) one year to implement its requirements from the date of enactment.
“Without the miracle of IVF, I wouldn’t have my two beautiful baby girls,” said Duckworth. “I’m proud to introduce bipartisan legislation with Congressman Connolly that would help make sure more Americans have access to IVF and other assisted reproductive technology through the Federal Employees Health Benefits — the largest employer-sponsored health insurance plan in the world — so they can have the chance to experience all the joys of parenthood if and when they want to.”
In August 2022, Duckworth and Connolly wrote to OPM, urging the agency to require FEHB carriers to cover ART services and treatments. According to the lawmakers, OPM has made incremental progress since then, but much more remains to be done.
According to the lawmakers, only 19 FEHB plans currently offer some level ART coverage, and these plans vary in terms of which specific services and treatments are included.
“Federal employees, like every American, should have the right to start and build a family,” Connolly said. “Yet right now, the FEHB program…offers only limited and inconsistent coverage for assisted reproductive treatment. This must change.”
Connolly said the Building FEHB Fairness Act presents an opportunity for the federal government to lead by example by modernizing the FEHB program and embracing high-quality ART coverage to become the employer of choice for millions of talented Americans looking to serve their country and start a family.
The legislation is co-led in the House by Representatives Nancy Mace (R-SC), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL).
To read the text of the bill, go here.