One of the most challenging aspects of infertility treatment is paying the costs of treatment and understanding what your insurance does and does not cover. I was fortunate enough to be at a RESOLVE meeting many years ago where the guest speaker was one of the women who spearheaded a grass roots movement to help get insurance coverage for the thousands of people in Illinois who struggled with infertility. I never forgot her story. They didn't do this for the noteriety and I don't have their names. However, it is very important to acknowledge their efforts and the legacy they have left for the residents of Illinois who continue to experience infertility .
This handful of women got together and organized a movement that took years and eventually took them to Springfield. They regularly took the 200 mile trip to Springfield in their own cars at their own expense. They had to balance family and job commitments as they worked together to create a strategy to break down this huge barrier. They didn't have any extra money or political clout to advance their cause. People in Illinois understand that these are the 2 main ingredients to successfully enact legislation here. They just had their personal knowledge of the pain of infertility, strong determination, and the support of each other to pursue this cause to the end.
They just wouldn't take no for an answer and spent countless hours meeting individually with each and every Illinois legislator personally helping them to understand that infertility was indeed a medical problem and that those who wanted to build a family were entitled to get the medical treatment they needed to try to make their parenting dreams come true. The vote was taken and these dedicated women were in the galley breathlessly watching. The role call was taken and it came down to 1 vote. The deciding vote was a male legislator who looked up at them in the gallery as he cast his deciding vote. They described making eye contact with him as he spoke. The Illinois Family Building Act was born in 1992.
The Resolve conference she spoke at was filled with about 300 people who intimately understood the multiple challenges of infertility. I looked around the room as she spoke and at the end of her speech there were not many dry eyes including mine. She received a standing ovation. We all understood the sacrifices she and her colleagues had made for us and many others. Those of us who have benefitted from their efforts and those who will benefit in the future will forever be grateful.
You can read more about the IFBA in the acticle, "Insurance and infertility treatment," at:
TO LEARN MORE DETAILS ABOUT THE SPECIFIC COVERAGE FOR INFERTILITY TREATMENT IN ILLINOIS YOU CAN GO TO THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE WEBSITE AT: