PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Rhode Island has enacted a law that requires insurers to cover “fertility preservation” for patients who undergo medical treatments that could leave them sterile.

The legislation is believed to be the first of its kind in the country. The Providence Journal reports (http://bit.ly/2ujEzx0 ) the legislation was designed to help cancer patients of childbearing age who may be rendered infertile by chemotherapy treatments.

In Rhode Island, roughly 375 people under the age of 40 are diagnosed with cancer each year. About 63 percent of them are women.

The legislation could also help provide coverage for transgender people as hormone replacement therapy can result in temporary or permanent sterility.

The new law does not apply to government funded insurers, Medicare and Medicaid.


Information from: The Providence Journal, http://www.providencejournal.com