Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Family Act 2011

I don't normally like to talk politics since it makes people get crazy mad but I was recently made aware of a bill that was introduced into Senate in May 2011 and The House of Representatives in November 2011 called The Family Act 2011. If passed, this bill will create a tax credit for the out-of-pocket costs associated with infertility treatments.

As someone who is dealing with infertility treatments I know first hand what a financial toll all of the co-pays, tests and treatments have cost me, and I HAVE insurance coverage. I have said before that I am beyond thankful for my insurance because without it I know Mike and I would not be able to afford IVF. So many couples max out their credit cards, take out 2nd mortgages/HELOCs, and save for years to afford even just one cycle of IVF.

Infertility is a medical diagnosis and should be considered by insurance companies for treatment just as any other disease would be but unfortunately it isn't. Until the day comes that infertility treatments are more readily affordable, The Family Act 2011 would greatly help couples achieve their dream of becoming parents.

So what can you do to help this cause? Follow me, along with many others, and call or send a letter/email to your elected officials. Help make a difference!

Here is a link to Resolve, The National Infertility Association. They support this bill and have a lot of information about it as well as what you can do to help support it.

And lastly, here is a copy of the letter I sent to my local officials:

Dear ,

As someone who cares about the 7.3 million women and men with infertility, I ask for your support in co-sponsoring the Family Act of 2011, S 965. The Family Act creates a tax credit for the out-of-pocket costs associated with infertility medical treatments.

My name is Lisbeth Mitchell and I am 27 years old. 2 years ago I married my high school sweetheart, Michael Mitchell, after 7 years of dating. We were both was 25 years old, in love, and hard working people. I thought that we were living the American dream. We always planned to have children early on in our marriage and I have always dreamed of becoming a mom. Imagine my surprise when we found out that due to male infertility our only chance at achieving that dream would be through in vitro fertilization.

My husband and I were stunned to learn that having a baby wouldn’t be as simple tossing out our birth control and “getting busy”. We also felt alone and scared; Alone because we never knew anyone who had struggled with this, scared because we now wondered if we would ever get to know the joy of holding our newborn baby.

I quickly went into research mode and was shocked to learn how common infertility is. Did you know that 1 in 6 couples suffers from some form of infertility? This means that you most likely know someone who is trying to have a child, or has had a child with the help of fertility treatments. Most insurance companies don’t offer much coverage for these treatments, if any. With the average cost of IVF being close to $12,000 in the United States, this means that many families will never get the chance to have their own child. Yet, many couples put themselves into a lifetime of debt just for the chance to get pregnant, something that still isn’t a guarantee with IVF. As a mom yourself, can you imagine what it must feel like to never know the joy of parenthood because of a medical diagnosis that you can’t afford to treat?

I can tell you that since my husband and I found out we were dealing with infertility, we have both been dragged through hell and back physically, emotionally, and mentally. But I will gladly continue to do so until it is no longer financially possible if that means I have a chance to become a mom.

Thank you for your support of S 965, The Family Act. And thank you for helping millions of Americans build their families.


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