Infertility treatments still not covered by insurance in Mississippi

Infertility treatments still not covered by insurance in Mississippi

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Fighting for the dream of starting a family. That’s how many women describe their struggles with infertility. One in eight couples deal with infertility -- but it’s more than just a statistic for Karolina Simmons and her husband.

“They ask, ‘when are you going to have kids?’" explained Simmons. "I don’t know. I’m fighting to have kids.”

Simmons is preparing for her third round of In Vitro Fertilization. The Simmons did the first two rounds of IVF here in Mississippi, but will be going to a clinic in Colorado that specializes in failed cases for the next.

“Every time one of my embryos died, I felt like I lost my child,” said Simmons. “I also knew the sex of my embryo. So the one I was supposed to have a transfer with, she was a little girl. So, I did...in September I lost my little girl.”

This will be their last attempt at IVF for now, due to the costs.

“To this day, we’ve spent $76,000 dollars," she said. "Almost $77,000 out of pocket.”

Legislation was filed and failed at the Mississippi State Capitol the last two years in an attempt to require insurance companies to pay for the diagnosis and treatment of infertility. This year’s proposal would’ve asked private insurers to pay for up to $25,000 dollars to treat married couples who are having trouble conceiving children. It also called for a pilot program, that would include coverage for state employees. It’s something other states are doing, including Simmons’ home state of Illinois.

“People ask ‘so why don’t you just come move back for a year and get insurance?’" described Simmons. "And if our lives weren’t here, absolutely we would consider. But I’m holding out that there could be a change.”

Simmons plans to go to D.C. for a national advocacy day next month.

“As long as people are quiet, things won’t happen," she said.

While she holds out hope for a child, she’s also holding out hope that the costly process will one day be covered by insurance in Mississippi.

She will be hand-delivering a letter while in D.C. next month.

She invites others to share their stories via letters. You can reach her by emailing msinfertilityadvocate@gmail.com.

You can learn more about the advocacy day on the Resolve website.

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