Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-558cb97cc8-9njm9 Total loading time: 0.442 Render date: 2022-10-07T20:13:13.276Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "displayNetworkTab": true, "displayNetworkMapGraph": false, "useSa": true } hasContentIssue true

The Affordable Care Act and assisted reproductive technology use

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 December 2015

Patricia Stapleton*
Affiliation:
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Daniel Skinner
Affiliation:
Ohio University
*
Correspondence: Patricia Stapleton, Department of Social Science and Policy Studies, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 100 Institute Rd., Worcester, MA 01609. Email: pastapleton@wpi.edu
Get access

Abstract

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has prompted numerous gender and sexuality controversies. We describe and analyze those involving assisted reproductive technologies (ART). ART in the United States has been regulated in piecemeal fashion, with oversight primarily by individual states. While leaving state authority largely intact, the ACA federalized key practices by establishing essential health benefits (EHBs) that regulate insurance markets and prohibit insurance-coverage denials based on pre-existing conditions. Whatever their intentions, the ACA’s drafters thus put infertility in a subtly provocative new light clinically, financially, normatively, politically, and culturally. With particular attention to normative and political dynamics embedded in plausible regulatory trajectories, we review—and attempt to preview—the ACA’s effects on infertility-related delivery of health services, on ART utilization, and on reproductive medicine as a factor in American society.

Type
Articles
Copyright
© Association for Politics and the Life Sciences 2015 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Omurtag, Kenan and Adamson, G. David, “The Affordable Care Act’s impact on fertility care,” Fertility and Sterility , 2013, 99(3): 652655.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
CDC, “What is assisted reproductive technology?,” last modified November 14, 2014, http://www.cdc.gov/art/whatis.html, accessed April 5, 2015.Google Scholar
CDC, “What is assisted reproductive technology?”.Google Scholar
CDC, “Infertility FAQs,” last updated September 16, 2015. http://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/Infertility/Index.htm, accessed April 11, 2015.Google Scholar
CDC, “Infertility FAQs”.Google Scholar
American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), Third-party Reproduction: Sperm, Egg, and Embryo Donation and Surrogacy (Birmingham, AL: ASRM, 2012), https://www.asrm.org/BOOKLET_Third-party_Reproduction/, accessed April 11, 2015.Google Scholar
ASRM, 2012.Google Scholar
CDC, “What is assisted reproductive technology?”.Google Scholar
CDC, “What is assisted reproductive technology?”.Google Scholar
ASRM, Oversight of Assisted Reproductive Technology (Birmingham, AL: ASRM, 2010), http://www.reproductivefacts.org/uploadedFiles/Content/About_Us/Media_and_Public_Affairs/OversiteOfART%20(2).pdf, accessed May 15, 2014.Google Scholar
Stapleton, Patricia, “The inauspicious regulatory beginnings of preimplantation genetic diagnosis,” in Biopolitics and Utopia, Stapleton, Patricia and Byers, Andrew, eds. (New York: Palgrave, 2015), pp. 6386.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
See Paul Starr, Remedy and Reaction: The Peculiar American Struggle over Health Care Reform (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2013), and Colleen Grogan, “The role of the private sphere in U.S. healthcare entitlements: increased spending, weakened public mobilization, and reduced equity,” The Forum, 2015, 13(1): 119–142.Google Scholar
Bagley, Nicholas and Levy, Helen, “Essential health benefits and the affordable care act: law and process,” Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law , 2014, 39(2): 441465.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bovbjerg, R. R., Wiener, J. M., and Housman, M. G., “State and federal roles in health care: rationales for allocating responsibilities,” in Federalism and Health Policy, Holahan, J., Weil, A., and Wiener, J. M., eds. (Washington, DC: The Urban Institute Press, 2003), pp. 2558.Google Scholar
Gardner, James A., “Devolution and the paradox of democratic unresponsiveness,” in Comparative Federalism in the Devolution Era, McCabe, Neil Colman, ed. (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2003), pp. 217246.Google Scholar
Marmor, Theodore, Mashaw, Jerry, and Oberlander, Jonathan, “National health reform: where do we go from here?,” in Health Policy, Federalism and the American States, Rich, Robert F. and White, William D., eds. (Washington, DC: Urban Institute Press, 1996), p. 284.Google Scholar
See H.R. 3607, State Health Care Choice Act, introduced by Rep. Mick Mulvaney on November 21, 2013, https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/mick_mulvaney/412474, and H.R. 371, the Health Care Choice Act, introduced on January 20, 2011, by Rep. Marsha Blackburn, http://blackburn.house.gov/issues/issue/?IssueID=31191, accessed May 15, 2014.Google Scholar
Haussman, Melissa, Sawer, Marian, and Vickers, Jill, eds., Federalism, Feminism and Multilevel Governance (London: Ashgate, 2010).Google Scholar
Hancock, Jay, “‘Narrow networks’ trigger push-back from state officials,” Kaiser Health News, November 25, 2013, http://kaiserhealthnews.org/news/states-balk-at-narrow-networks, accessed May 15, 2014.Google Scholar
Gnadinger, Tracy, Comparing quality and prices among hospitals,” Health Affairs (blog), January 29, 2014, http://healthaffairs.org/blog/2014/01/29/health-affairs-web-first-comparing-quality-and-prices-among-hospitals/, accessed May 15, 2014.Google Scholar
Carroll, Aaron, “Narrow networks are not new,” The Incidental Economist (blog), November 26, 2013, http://theincidentaleconomist.com/wordpress/narrow-networks-are-not-new/, accessed May 15, 2014.Google Scholar
Resolve, “Embryo Donation: Myth and Facts,” http://www.resolve.org/family-building-options/donor-options/embryo-donation-myth-and-facts.html, accessed September 24, 2014, and insurance coverage for infertility treatment; Resolve, “Insurance Coverage in Your State,” http://www.resolve.org/family-building-options/insurance_coverage/state-coverage.html, accessed September 24, 2014; Gina Barton, “Surrogacy Laws Vary By State,” The Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, August 7, 2012, http://www.jsonline.com/news/health/surrogacy-laws-vary-by-state-co65rvg-165348756.html, accessed September 24, 2014; Find Surrogate Mother, “US Surrogacy Laws By State,” http://www.findsurrogatemother.com/surrogacy-laws/us-surrogacy-laws-by-state, accessed August 11, 2015; or MacElree Harvey Legal Office, The Legal Uncertainty Surrounding the Disposition of Frozen Embryos in American Divorce Proceedings, http://www.macelree.com/the-legal-uncertainty-surrounding-the-disposition-of-frozen-embryos-in-american-divorce-proceedings/, accessed August 11, 2015.Google Scholar
Stapleton.Google Scholar
Alison Sherwood, “Surrogacy laws in the United States,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, August 4, 2012, http://www.jsonline.com/news/health/163772546.html, accessed May 31, 2014.Google Scholar
ASRM, “State infertility insurance laws,” http://www.asrm.org/insurance.aspx, accessed June 11, 2014.Google Scholar
Resolve, “Insurance coverage in your state,” http://www.resolve.org/family-building-options/insurance_coverage/state-coverage.html, accessed September 26, 2014.Google Scholar
Resolve, “Insurance coverage in your state”.Google Scholar
United States Census Bureau, “State totals: vintage 2013,” http://www.census.gov/popest/data/state/totals/2013/, accessed October 13, 2014.Google Scholar
Hamilton, Brady E., Martin, Joyce A., Osterman, Michelle J. K., and Curtin, Sally C., Births: preliminary data for 2013,” in National Vital Statistics Report (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2014), http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr63/nvsr63_02.pdf, accessed October 13, 2014.Google Scholar
Schmidt, Lucie, “Effects of infertility insurance mandates on fertility,” Journal of Health Economics , 2007, 26(3): 431446.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
ASRM, Infertility: An Overview (Birmingham, AL: ASRM, 2012), http://www.asrm.org/Booklet_Infertility_An_Overview/, accessed April 19, 2015.Google Scholar
Inhorn, Marcia C. and Birenbaum-Carmeli, Daphna, “Assisted reproductive technologies and culture change,” Annual Review of Anthropology , 2008, 37: 179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hammoud, Ahmad O., Gibson, Mark, Stanford, Joseph, White, George, Carrell, Douglas T., and Peterson, Matthew, “ In vitro fertilization availability and utilization in the United States: a study of demographic, social, and economic factors,” Fertility and Sterility , 2009, 91(5):, 1630–1635, at 1634.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Resolve, “Insurance coverage in your state: Massachusetts,” http://www.resolve.org/family-building-options/insurance_coverage/state-coverage.html#Massachusetts, accessed September 26, 2014.Google Scholar
Jain, T. and Hornstein, M. D., “Disparities in access to infertility services in a state with mandated insurance coverage,” Fertility and Sterility , 2005, 84(1):, 221–223, at 222.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Staniec, J. Farley Ordovensky and Webb, Natalie J., “Utilization of infertility services: how much does money matter?,” Health Services Research , 2007, 42(3): 971989.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Schmidt, 10.Google Scholar
Basco, Daniel, Campo-Engelstein, Lisa, and Rodriguez, Sarah, “Insuring against infertility: expanding state infertility mandates to include fertility preservation technology for cancer patients,” The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics , 2010, 38(4): 832839.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Basco et al.Google Scholar
See Connecticut’s H.B. 5500, Act Requiring Health Insurance Coverage for Fertility Preservation for Insureds Diagnosed with Cancer, distributed to the Insurance and Real Estate Committee, http://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/CGABillStatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=HB5500, accessed October 3, 2014.Google Scholar
Kaiser Family Foundation, “Essential health benefit (EHB) benchmark plans, as of January 3, 2013,” http://kff.org/health-reform/state-indicator/ehb-benchmark-plans, accessed October 10, 2015.Google Scholar
Aetna, “ACA Provisions 2014: Impacts to Small Groups,” 2014, http://www.aetna.com/health-reform-connection/reform-explained/video-SGimpact.html, accessed October 3, 2014.Google Scholar
Cited in Michelle Andrews, “Few women have coverage for egg freezing,” Kaiser Health News, December 16, 2014.Google Scholar
National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), “State health insurance mandates and the ACA essential benefits provisions,” updated June 2014, http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/state-ins-mandates-and-aca-essential-benefits.aspx#State_EHB_2013, accessed October 3, 2014.Google Scholar
Weiner, Janet and Colameco, Christopher, Essential Health Benefits: 50-State Variations on a Theme (Philadelphia: Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, University of Penn. & Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2014).Google Scholar
42 U.S. Code §18031 (d)(3)(B), “Affordable choices of health benefit plans”.Google Scholar
Weiner and Colameco, 1.Google Scholar
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), “Ohio EHB benchmark plan,” http://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Data-Resources/Downloads/ohio-ehb-benchmark-plan.pdf, accessed October 3, 2014; and CMS, “California EHB benchmark plan,” http://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Data-Resources/Downloads/california-ehb-benchmark-plan.pdf, accessed October 3, 2014.Google Scholar
CMS, “Ohio EHB benchmark plan,” and CMS, “California EHB benchmark plan”.Google Scholar
NSCL, “State laws related to insurance coverage for infertility treatment,” updated June 2014, http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/insurance-coverage-for-infertility-laws.aspx, accessed April 29, 2015.Google Scholar
Fertility Within Reach, “Essential health benefit plans and infertility state mandates,” updated May 14, 2013, http://www.fertilitywithinreach.org/blog/essential-health-benefit-plans-and-infertility-state-mandates/, accessed April 30, 2015.Google Scholar
Resolve, “The affordable care act and infertility,” updated February 17, 2014, http://www.resolve.org/get-involved/the-center-for-infertility-justice/public-policy/the-affordable-care-act-and-infertility.html, accessed April 30, 2015.Google Scholar
Skinner, Daniel, “Defining medical necessity under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” Public Administration Review , 2013, 73(S1): S49S59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jost, Timothy Stoltzfus, Health insurance exchanges and the affordable care act: key policy issues (New York: The Commonwealth Fund, 2010), p. vi.Google Scholar
Jost, p. 11.Google Scholar
Frank Newport, “Majority say not gov’t duty to provide healthcare for all,” Gallup, November 20, 2014, http://www.gallup.com/poll/179501/majority-say-not-gov-duty-provide-healthcare.aspx, accessed August 11, 2015.Google Scholar
Democratic National Committee, “Health Care,” https://www.democrats.org/issues/health-care, accessed November 6, 2015.Google Scholar
United Nations, “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/, accessed August 11, 2015.Google Scholar
See IRS publication 502, http://www.irs.gov/publications/p502/index.html, accessed August 11, 2015.Google Scholar
Cigna, “HSA, FSA, HRA: Eligible and Ineligible Expenses,” http://www.cigna.com/qualified-health-care-expenses, accessed August 11, 2015.Google Scholar
Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey, “How will the ACA affect infertility benefits,” November 7, 2013, http://www.rmanj.com/2013/11/will-affordable-care-act-affect-infertility-benefits.Google Scholar
Internal Revenue Service, “Health Savings Accounts and Other Tax-Favored Health Plans,” Publication 969, March 10, 2015, https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p969.pdf.Google Scholar
Ashlea Ebeling, “New Healthcare Flexible Spending Account Rules for 2013, Use-It-Or Lose-It Still Undecided,” Forbes, November 16, 2012, http://www.forbes.com/sites/ashleaebeling/2012/11/16/new-healthcare-flexible-spending-account-rules-for-2013-use-it-or-lose-it-still-undecided, accessed August 11, 2015.Google Scholar
Brezina, Paul R., Shah, Anish A., Myers, Evan R., Huang, Andy, and Decherney, Alan H., “How Obamacare will impact reproductive health,” Seminars in Reproductive Medicine , 2013, 31(3): 189197.Google ScholarPubMed
Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, “Percent who say they feel favorable about each of the following elements of the health reform law,” March 2013, http://kff.org/health-reform/poll-finding/march-2013-tracking-poll/, accessed October 11, 2014.Google Scholar
Brezina et al.Google Scholar
NCSL, “Essential health benefits implementation studies and examples,” updated June 2014, http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/state-ins-mandates-and-aca-essential-benefits.aspx#essential, accessed October 3, 2014.Google Scholar
Meena Hart Duerson, “Nadya ‘Octomom’ Suleman admits IVF fertility treatments were a ‘mistake,”’ New York Daily News, April 8, 2012.Google Scholar
Stapleton; Meredith Leigh Birdsall, “An exploration of ‘the wild west of reproductive technology’: ethical and feminist perspectives on sex-selection practices in the United States,” William and Mary Journal of Women and the Law, 2010, 17(1): 223–247; Alexander N. Hecht, “The wild wild west: inadequate regulation of assisted reproductive technology,” Houston Journal of Health Law and Policy, 2001, 1: 227–261; Kimberly M. Mutcherson, “Welcome to the wild west: protecting access to cross border fertility care in the United States,” Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy, 2012, 22(2): 349–393.Google Scholar
Warnock, Mary, Making Babies: Is There a Right to Have Children? (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002).Google Scholar
Henry Stern, “Medical necessity vs. IVF,” InsureBlog, October 14, 2005, http://insureblog.blogspot.com/2005/10/medical-necessity-vs-ivf.html, accessed October 3, 2014.Google Scholar
Thomas J. Papadimos, “Healthcare access as a right, not a privilege: a construct of Western thought,” Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine, 2007, 2: 2, http://www.peh-med.com/content/2/1/2, accessed October 10, 2015.Google Scholar
Associated Press, “Costa Rica: ban on in vitro fertilization is struck down,” The New York Times, December 21, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/22/world/americas/costa-rican-ban-on-in-vitro-fertilization-is-struck-down.html, accessed October 3, 2014.Google Scholar
Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, http://legal.un.org/icc/statute/romefra.htm, accessed October 3, 2014.Google Scholar
Berg Brigham, K., Cadier, B., and Chevreul, K., “The diversity of regulation and public financing of IVF in Europe and its impact on utilization,” Human Reproduction , 2013, 28(3): 666675.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ben Tufft, “UK citizens are the most likely in Europe to go abroad to find a surrogate mother,” The Independent, March 15, 2015; Britta C. Van Beers, “Is Europe ‘giving in to baby markets?’ reproductive tourism in Europe and the gradual erosion of existing legal limits to reproductive markets,” Medical Law Review, 2015, 23(1): 103–134; F. Shenfield, J. de Mouzon, G. Pennings, A. P. Ferraretti, A. Nyboe Andersen, G. de Wert, and V. Goossens, “Cross border reproductive care in six European countries,” Human Reproduction, 2010, 25(6): 1361–1368.Google Scholar
Shenfield et al.; Sarah Boseley, “NHS restrictions prompt fertility tourism boom,” The Guardian, June 30, 2009.Google Scholar
See, for example, Norman Daniels, Just Health: Meeting Health Needs Fairly (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008).Google Scholar
Rebecca J. Cook, Bernard M. Dickens, and Mahmoud F. Fathalla, Reproductive Health and Human Rights: Integrating Medicine, Ethics and the Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), p. 3.Google Scholar
VanLare, Jordan M. and Conway, Patrick H., “Value-Based Purchasing—National Programs to Move from Volume to Value,” New England Journal of Medicine , 2012, 367(21): 292295.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ryan Abbott and Carl Stevens, “Redefining medical necessity: a consumer-driven solution to the U.S. health care crisis,” Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review, 2014, 47(4): 943–966.Google Scholar
King, Leslie and Meyer, Madonna Harrington, “The politics of reproductive benefits: U.S. insurance coverage of contraceptive and infertility treatments,” Gender & Society , 1997, 11(1):, 8–30, at 8.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Matt Broaddus, “Childless adults who become eligible for medicaid in 2014 should receive standard benefits package,” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (report), July 6, 2010.Google Scholar
Skoch, Ive Roze, “Why is IVF so expensive in the United States?” Newsweek, July 21, 2010.Google Scholar
Connolly, Mark P., Hoorens, Stijn, and Chambers, Georgina M., “The costs and consequences of assisted reproductive technology: an economic perspective,” Human Reproduction Update , 2010, 16(6): 603613.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Fertility Within Reach, “Essential health benefit plans and infertility state mandates,” May 14, 2013,http://www.fertilitywithinreach.org/blog/essential-health-benefit-plans-and-infertility-state-mandates/, accessed July 23, 2015.Google Scholar
Danielle Friedman, “Perk up: Facebook and Apple now pay for women to freeze eggs,” NBC News, October 14, 2014, http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/perk-facebook-apple-now-pay-women-freeze-eggs-n225011, accessed October 14, 2014.Google Scholar
John Lawrence Hill, “What does it mean to be a ‘parent’? The claims of biology as the base for parental rights,” New York University Law Review, 1991, 353: 388–417, and Howard Fink and June Carbone, “Between private ordering and public fiat: a new paradigm for family law decision-making,” Journal of Law and Family Studies, 2003, 5(1): 18–69.Google Scholar
2
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

The Affordable Care Act and assisted reproductive technology use
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

The Affordable Care Act and assisted reproductive technology use
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

The Affordable Care Act and assisted reproductive technology use
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *