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Designing and implementing state-level fertility preservation health insurance benefit mandates

By Ricardo E Flores, Sara W Yoeun, Omar Mesian, Bonnie N Kaiser, Sara B McMenamin, H. Irene Su

Posted 16 Jun 2021
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.06.13.21258849

Objective To describe the design and implementation of state-level fertility preservation (FP) health insurance benefit mandates and regulation and to provide stakeholders with guidance on best practices, gaps, and implementation needs. Design Legal mapping and implementation framework-guided analysis Setting U.S. states with state-level fertility preservation health insurance benefit mandates Patients Individuals at risk of iatrogenic infertility Intervention State laws mandating health insurance benefit coverage for fertility preservation services. Main Outcome Measures Design features of FP mandated benefit legislation; implementation process Results Between June, 2017 and March, 2021, 11 states passed FP benefit mandate laws. On average, states took 223 days to implement their mandates from the start of the law enactment dates to their corresponding effective dates, and a majority issued regulatory guidance after the law was in effect. Significant variation was observed in which FP services were specified for inclusion or exclusion in the laws and/or regulator guidance. Federal policies impacted state level implementation, with the ACA and HIPAA guiding design of fertility preservation benefits. In addition, a majority of states referenced medical society clinical practice guidelines in the design of FP mandated benefits. Conclusions Our policy scan documented significant variation in the design and implementation of health insurance benefit mandates for FP services. Future considerations for policy development include specificity and flexibility of benefit design, reference to external clinical practice guidelines to drive benefit coverage, inclusion of Medicaid populations in required coverage, and consideration of interaction with relevant state and federal policies. In addition, key considerations for implementation include the sufficient length of time for the implementation period, regulator guidance issued prior to the law going into effect, and explicit allocation of resources for the implementation process.

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