Letter calls on OPM to require every FEHB program carrier to provide ART treatment coverage going forward. Image: Minerva Studio/Shutterstock.com

A group of two dozen Democrats from the House and Senate has urged OPM expand coverage in the FEHB program for infertility diagnosis and treatment including assistive reproductive technology such as in vitro fertilization.

“People should not have to take on substantial medical debt to grow a family,” they wrote, but the coverage currently offered under the FEHB is limited and “is often prohibitively expensive.”

They noted that in its annual call letter to carriers earlier this year—which kicks off the negotiations process that ends with the announcement of plan terms and premium rates ahead of the late-year open season—OPM encouraged widening coverage.

“Providing medical coverage for ART services is critical to ensure federal agencies can compete with the private sector for top talent and promote optimal health outcomes among their employees . . . Evidence also indicates that coverage for such medical services also alleviates certain health conditions associated with fertility challenges, including depression, stress, and anxiety,” they wrote.

“We strongly support the coverage of ART services in federal health care benefits and urge OPM to build on its efforts to ensure federal employees can afford fertility treatments by requiring every FEHB program carrier to provide ART treatment coverage going forward,” they wrote.

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2022 Federal Employees Handbook