Illustrated By Ly Ngo.
Women (and couples) suffering from infertility have historically gotten the short end of a very cruel stick. Treatment is crazy-expensive and can be physically and emotionally demanding. Yes, modern science has opened a number of doors to those who need help conceiving. Still, a number of very real barriers stand between many Americans and their dreams of starting a family.
But, which would-be families face the biggest uphill battle? RESOLVE, a non-profit organization devoted to expanding access to family-building services across the country, has put together a map of the United States — ranked in terms of each state's infertility treatment options. The scores were determined based on a number of factors, including the number of fertility specialists available, whether the state has an insurance mandate, and how many women in the state report fertility problems.
Who gets an A, according to RESOLVE? Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and a handful of other states rank highly. This is largely because they have defined infertility treatments as "essential health benefits," making their availability mandatory under the Affordable Care Act. New Hampshire, Alaska, and Wyoming all got an F — women in those states "may have a tougher time on their infertility journey due to lack of insurance coverage or lack of emotional support resources," says Barbara Collura, President and CEO of RESOLVE. She points out that "the Fertility Scorecard also highlights states that might have a legislative climate that actually may harm people's access to care."
And, while Obamacare has allowed coverage of infertility treatments to proliferate in areas like New Jersey and Massachusetts, Collura notes that even in these states, it's nowhere near a done deal. "The mandate does not cover everyone in that state," she explains, "and we still need people to take action and ensure their mandate is not weakened in any way." Check out the map below to see if your state is a fertility-treatment role model — or if it's coming up short. (TIME)
Courtesy Of RESOLVE.org.