Komen-Supported Fertility Preservation Bill, SB 600, Signed Into Law by Governor Newsom

Susan G. Komen San Diego-supported fertility preservation bill, SB 600, was signed into law by Governor Newsom on Saturday, October 12th, 2019.

Health insurance companies in California are now required to cover the cost of fertility preservation procedures for Californians whose cancer treatments result in infertility, thanks to Gov. Gavin Newsom signing SB 600 into law on Saturday. 

Why is this important for breast cancer patients?

One of the permanent side effects of breast cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy, is the loss of fertility. Before this bill was passed, young breast cancer patients who were newly diagnosed were having their insurance claims for fertility preservation initially denied, as these procedures were not deemed medically necessary. Thus, they had to make the cruel choice of either paying $10,000 out of pocket for fertility preservation before starting treatment (and hope their appeal was approved after the fact), or foregoing their ability to have children for the rest of their lives.

SB 600 removes the ability of insurance companies to initially deny these claims, and gives the treating physician the power to deem these procedures medically necessary (which mandates their  approval by insurance companies). By eliminating insurance companies as the “middle-men”, patients can now obtain fertility preservation immediately, enabling them to focus on beating breast cancer instead of choosing between foregoing their ability to have children or paying $10,000 out of pocket.

Impact

According to data from the California Cancer Registry, more than 8,000 Californians of reproductive age (2,950 males and 5,701 females aged 10 to 44 years), are diagnosed annually with a cancer whose treatments are likely to result in infertility. This law gives thousands of Californians the health equity they deserve.

We are thrilled Gov. Newsom signed SB 600 into law, and will keep fighting until all breast cancer patients are guaranteed the unwavering health care services they deserve.