By: FOX 59, Anae Howard
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — One in eight women struggle with infertility. There’s help available like in vitro fertilization, but not all families can afford the pricey services. A state representative has introduced a new bill to change that, and a local woman’s public fertility fight helped inspire the measure.
Representative Robin Shackleford introduced House Bill 1059 which would require insurance companies to offer coverage for fertility treatments at the very minimum.
“I’ve heard a lot of the stories where women have literally drained out their 401k. We need to see how we can level the playing field, help this service where everyone can afford it,” Shackleford said.
Cher Kimbrough and her partner Samuel are one of the local families who traveled out of state to get more affordable fertility treatments. 14,000 miles and $57,000 later the couple is expecting twins this summer–five years after their journey began.
“I found the place in New York and it was $4,000. Right away I’m like what’s the catch. $4,000 for the same thing they’re charging 20 grand for in Indy,” Kimbrough said.
There was no catch. And although her story has a happy ending she wants to fight for other families here in Indiana who can’t afford the treatments. So she and other women took their concerns to the statehouse where they got the attention of Shackleford.
“It’s like we have to be equal here and if there’s couples hurting and there’s science available that can heal that hurt that science needs to be accessible for everyone,” Kimbrough said.
Shackleford says the next step is to get constituents together with insurers to see if the two sides can come to a consensus before the bill is heard by the house insurance committee.